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“Minus zero”

by Lord Thanatos


19/12/09 28/12/09







1. Day 1 - Spinning out of control

2. Coke, shaken, not stirred

3. Not as we know it

4. Less than nothing

5. Wandering part I

6. Day 4 - Null space race

7. Chief enemy

8. Replicator operator

9. Day 20 - By design

10. Eyeballing a cure

11. Art by Bredsen

12. Day 37 - Sporting officers

13. Nullified null space

14. Day 62 - Too early to cheer and steer






SCENE 1: Day 1 - Spinning out of control


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63477.37. We’ve scanned yet another solar system but found no life so far. For unknown reasons, scanners were unable to gather much data concerning the outermost planet. We are now approaching said planet to conduct a more up close investigation; we cannot overlook anything in the search for our enemy.”


LT: “Half impulse, Pattison.”


Pattison: “Half impulse.”


LT: “Assume standard orbit when we reach the planet…”


All of a sudden the Greate Pier enters some kind of phenomenon.


LT: “I doubt this is standard orbit, ensign.”


Pattison: “Me too…”


Stuckman: “I think we’ve entered some anomalous pocket of space, sir… I’m not sure…”


LT: “Why didn’t sensors pick this up?”


Stuckman: “I don’t know, sir…”


Eisinga: “Alright, all stop.”


Pattison: “All stop.”


LT stands up from his chair…


Eisinga: “Why haven’t we stopped, Pattison?”


Pattison: “Engines register as inactive, sir.”


Stuckman: “We’re getting close to the atmosphere of the planet, sir.”


LT: “Use warp, impulse, thrusters, anything… Stop this boat.”


Pattison: “Trying sir… Firing thrusters… No effect…”


Eisinga: “What the hell is this?”


Pattison tries her best, but no luck.


Pattison: “Warp and impulse don’t work either, sir; No propulsion…”


LT: “Dammit… Stuckman, how bad is it?“


Stuckman: “The angle at which we’re approaching the atmosphere may cause us to bounce of, or maybe not.”


LT: “’Maybe’ isn’t science, science officer.”


Stuckman: “It’s just hard to tell, sir… Whatever will happen, there’s little we can do without propulsion.”


LT: “Go out and push, Stuckman. Maybe that’ll help…”


Stuckman smiles, but has no time to really be amused.


Stuckman: “We’ll reach the atmosphere in 7 seconds, sir.”


The captain pushes a button on his chair console.


LT: “This is the captain. Brace for impact and enjoy the ride.”


Stuckman: “3, 2, 1…”


The Greate Pier starts to enter the top layer of the atmosphere at a shallow angle…


Stilson: “ Hull temperature rising rapidly…”


Everyone on board is thrown about… Stuckman is on the floor.


Stilson: “ Hull at 2,300 degrees…”


LT: “Stuckman, will we bounce?”


Stuckman tries to get back on his feet.


Stuckman: “I can’t tell from here, sir.”


LT looks at Stuckman and sees that he’s quite right. Stilson answers for his science colleague.


Stilson: “I think we might bounce sir, the angle should be gradual enough, but it seems to be a rough ride. Hull temperature now at 3,000 degrees.”


The back end of the Greate Pier moves up and tilts slightly to the left… When the Greate Pier is almost on its back, the ship is free from the atmosphere; it bounced off… The atmosphere caused the ship to rotate around all axes. Stuckman is back in his seat.


Stuckman: “We’re clear of the atmosphere…”


Stilson: “ Hull temperature decreasing…”


LT: “Alright people, since we survived that, it’s now time to find some answers; I want to know why we can’t use propulsion. Get on it. Ops, damage report.”


Blackwell: “No damage. Sickbay reports 2 minor injuries, sir.”


Stilson: “I might have a hypothesis, sir.”


LT: “A hypothesis? Well, that’s a start anyway…”


Stilson: “It might be a null space pocket.”


Eisinga: “Null space is filled with bright light; doesn’t seem to be the case here… Besides, propulsion works in null space…”


LT: “Doesn’t matter what it is… Just find out how we can get out of here… Inform Starfleet.”



SCENE 2: Coke, shaken, not stirred


Holcraft enters the lounge and sits down at the bar. He orders a drink.


Holcraft: “Hey Bart…”


Endersby: “Good afternoon, lieutenant. What’ll it be for you?”


Holcraft: “Give me a coke, 5 degrees.”


Endersby: “Coming right up.”


While Bart fetches the drink, Crewman Cole, also behind the bar, greets Holcraft.


Cole: “Hi Giles… On a break?”


Holcraft: “Hi Yasmine. Actually, I took the day off…”


Cole: “You want some leftovers from lunch? It’s Italian food today…”


Holcraft: “No thanks, I’m not that hungry… That was quite a bumpy ride, huh?”


Cole: “Yeah, I could barely keep the pots ‘n pans on the gas rings…”


Holcraft: “No red alert; must be some space turbulence… Anyway, how’s the new job? Can you keep up with it a little bit?””


Cole: “Fortunately, yes… Almost all of my waking hours are spent either here, in sickbay or in the cargo bay, but that’s why I love it; I keep busy… I’m not the kind of girl to sit still all day… Besides, I can cook whatever I feel like, haha…”


Holcraft laughs as well. Bart brings Holcraft his drink.


Holcraft: “Thanks, Bart.”


Cole looks out the window and sees something is wrong…


Cole: “What the hell? The helmsman must have dozed off…”


Holcraft turns around to take a look as well.


Holcraft: “That’s weird… They really can’t go a day without me, can they? I better get to the bridge…”


He runs off, only to return to the bar a moment later. He drinks his coke in under a second, with a singular motion of his hand waves goodbye to Bart and Yasmine and runs off again…



SCENE 3: Not as we know it


LT: “Stuckman, what do you have so far?”


Stuckman: “I think Stilson’s hypothesis might have been right, sir… It’s not null space as we know it, but it does appear to be somewhat similar. But there are as many differences as there are similarities.”


LT: “Namely?”


Stuckman: “Well, like the commander pointed out, this null space pocket doesn’t seem to be flooded with bright light and no propulsion is possible… Also, we’re not able to map this region with photon pulses. Regular scans seem to work just fine.”


LT: “As if it’s a negative of normal null space… How big is it?”


Stuckman: “Pretty big, but if we want to generate a complete map, astrometrics is better equipped to do so.”


LT: “Alright. Eisinga, go down to astrometrics and put them to work…”


Eisinga: “Right away, sir.”


Eisinga walks up to the turbo lift and greets Holcraft, who exits it. Holcraft joins his colleague at his usual post.


LT: “Any change, helm?”


Pattison: “No sir, propulsion systems are still ineffective.”


LT: “Keep trying… We need to continue our mission as soon as possible.”


Maresca: “Sir, incoming transmission from Admiral Grant.”


A sarcastic response…


LT: “Great… On screen.”


Grant: “Captain LT.”


LT: “Sir.”


Grant: “What’s this I hear? The ship is out of control?”


LT: “Well, not exactly. The pocket of space we’re in doesn’t allow for us to maneuver the ship. We’re adrift, as it were…”


Grant: “I see… Do I need to remind you of the importance of this mission, captain?”


LT: “No, sir, you don’t.”


Grant: “Then get the ship back under control again and continue your mission a.s.a.p.”


Slightly annoyed, the captain repeats his defense.


LT: “Like I said, sir, the ship is under control. The space around us doesn’t allow our propulsion systems to work.”


Grant: “How long?”


LT: “Astrometrics has been instructed to map this region of space. Once that is done we can probably tell how long it will take us to pass through.”


Grant: “Let me know as soon as you do.”


The transmission is terminated before LT notices it…


LT: “We’re doing everything…”


Mid-sentence, the captain notices the admiral is no longer listening and starts a new, sarcastic sentence.


LT: “Well, that was a happy chappy…”



SCENE 4: Less than nothing


Eisinga enters the astrometrics lab where Ensign Amini leads a team of 3 crewmen.


Eisinga: “Ensign, the captain wants you to map the negative null space pocket.”


Amini: “’Negative null space’? Is that what the term is?”


Eisinga: “I guess so… No one encountered this kind of phenomenon before, according to the database. We can call it whatever we want, haha…”


Amini: “’Negative null’… Minus zero… Pretty weird.”


Eisinga: “You analyze things too much…”


Amini: “That’s my job here, commander…”


The both smile…


Eisinga: “The map, ensign?”


Amini: “We already started mapping the area, sir. Results should be in momentarily.”


Eisinga: “Did you by any chance figure out why sensors didn’t pick this pocket up?”


Amini: “We haven’t found a specific reason, but we haven’t particularly looked for one yet. But it seems to be as naturally cloaked as the eh… positive version of null space.”


Eisinga: “Try to find out, will you? Would be nice to be able to detect a pocket like this in the future before we start twirling around in one.”


Amini: “Yes, sir.”


Computer: “Bleep.”


Amini: “The results are in, sir.”


She pushes a number of buttons and an image of the pocket appears on the big screens.


Amini: “This is the pocket we’re in, sir. We are over here, the red dot.”


She points at the red dot near the edge of the phenomenon.


Eisinga: “How long will it take to reach normal space with current speed and heading?”


Amini pushes a few buttons and a straight line running from the red dot to the edge of the pocket appears on screen. Amini doesn’t say anything initially, being sort of shocked by her calculations. She then looks at the commander.


Amini: “62 days, sir.”


Eisinga drops his head and rubs his forehead with his hand…


Eisinga: “Oh boy…”



SCENE 5: Wandering part I


The ship’s captain is in his ready room. The captain gives permission to enter when he hears the chime. The first officer walks in.


LT: “Sit down, Eldert.”


Eisinga sits down in his usual chair. The captain joins his friend and stretches his legs on the couch.


Eisinga: “You’re not going to like this, LT…”


LT: “That bad?”


Eisinga: “That bad. We’ll be in this pocket for 62 days.”


LT: “What?! Oh crap, the admiral is going to kill me when he hears this.”


Eisinga: “He does have a short fuse, doesn’t he?”


LT: “Shorter than 62 days anyway…”


There’s a second or 2 of silence before the commander asks a question that has already been bouncing around the captain’s head.


Eisinga: “You think he’ll send another ship to take over?”


LT: “The thought crossed my mind just now… I mean, he does have 2 Akira’s at the border colonies… And I think there are more on the way.”


Eisinga: “About that thought, LT… I’ve heard rumors in the corridors.”


LT: “What kind of rumors?”


Eisinga: “Rumors of constructions crews being sent to the border colonies. Large construction crews with large cargo ships. And also security forces, admirals, judges and indeed more ships…”


LT: “That’s the problem with rumors, Eldert… Half of it is exaggerated and the other half is simply not true, haha… I’m sure that despite the recent security measures, Starfleet quite rightly thinks it’s not enough to keep the border colonies safe in case the Inj decide to come back for another attack. Can’t blame ‘em... Let’s just hope the admiral can keep his cool… for 2 months.”


Eisinga: “Let’s hope so indeed… We just started our exploration mission; I’d hate to be recalled now…”


The captain’s attention seems to fade.


Eisinga: “I must say this negative null space is an interesting phenomenon; but being trapped in it for 2 months seems a bit much… I bet we can learn everything there is to learn about this part of space before the day is out… Anyway it seems…”


The commander stops for a moment when he looks at the captain.


Eisinga: “Are you listening, LT?”


LT snaps out of it…


LT: “What? Oh, sorry Eldert… I eh… I guess my mind was wandering…”


Eisinga: “My mind was wondering why…”


LT: “Haha… Well, eh… It’s nothing…”


Eisinga: “Liar.”


LT: “I’m ordering you to shut up when you’re right.”


Both men smile.


LT: “We’re now trapped in this pocket for the next 2 months… Even if I wanted to go home now to see the lady… I couldn’t…”


Eisinga: “I thought you decided not to go and see her yet as it might be too early and all?”


LT: “I did. And I still agree with myself on that. But now I can’t, you know?”


Eisinga: “We’re looking at 2 more months of null space, then we’d have to travel around the whole phenomenon, which takes who knows how long and then we would still be well over 3 months from home at maximum warp… It would surely take at least three quarters of a year to get back home… I say just accept it.”


LT: “I think I have, but you’re not making it any better, hahaha… I hate it when choices are made for me… Whatever happens, I won’t be able to see her for 9 months…”


Eisinga: “I thought you we’re such a logical guy; always telling others to deal with the facts as they are. Telling them that worrying about it won’t change the facts…”


LT: “And I thought that by now you’d understand that love is anything but logical…”


Eisinga sighs…


Eisinga: “Let’s call this one a draw, shall we?”


LT: “Agreed.”


Eisinga: “Come on; let’s go to the lounge… Haven’t had anything to eat yet, I’m starving…”


The men get up and proceed towards the door.


LT: “Ok, let’s get a big fat steak.”


Eisinga: “Hey!”


LT smiles… Eisinga can do nothing but join him in that as they exit the ready room. Once on the bridge, the men meet Ensign Bynes.


Bynes: “Captain, a report from engineering.”


Bynes hands LT a PADD.


LT: “Thank you, ensign.”


The captain reads the report for a short while.


LT: “This looks good, ensign. I wish you wouldn’t work so hard…”


Bynes: “Haha, I’ll try, sir.”


LT: “Well, I think you may have to.”


Bynes: “What do you mean, sir?”


LT: “You might have noticed we’re twirling around in space a bit…”


Bynes: “Yes sir.”


LT: “We’ll be doing that for another 62 days I’m afraid…”


Bynes: “62 days?... Wow…”


Eisinga: “Wow indeed… So don’t overwork yourself, you’ll be bored in a few weeks time, hahaha…”


Bynes: “Well, there’s always enough to do in engineering, sir. But perhaps that does give me some time to take a look at Bart.”


Eisinga: “Bart? What’s wrong with him?”


Bynes: “Well, the doctor and a few others reported that Bart showed some paranoid behavior. It seems he thinks there are conspiracies everywhere.”


LT: “Conspiracies? I see…”


Eisinga: “Sounds like a possible malfunction…”


LT hands the PADD back to the engineer.


LT: “Don’t make it your priority, but take a look at it when you have the time…”


Bynes: “Aye sir.”


All 3 men get into the turbo lift.



SCENE 6: Day 4 - Null space race


Crewman Cole is grooming one of the horses in cargo bay 3. Shelley walks up to her.


Shelley: “Hi Yasmine…”


Cole: “Hey doc… You need me for something?”


Shelley: “No, not at the moment… Just checking up on you and the horses…”


Shelley takes a bite from her sandwich. A sandwich with some green, healthy stuff on it.


Cole: “They’re doing fine…”


Shelley: “And it seems you’re busy enough already, haha...”


Cole smiles.


Cole: “I never get bored…”


She stops brushing for a moment.


Cole: “What do you reckon I should cook today? I can’t decide between baked bean cassoulet and Mexican bean soup.”


This diversity makes the doctor laugh.


Shelley: “If I had a choice between beans and beans I’d choose a random dish from the replicator.”


Cole acts annoyed.


Cole: “Ha-ha…


Shelley: “I’m just not much for beans…”


The doctor takes another bite from her sandwich.


Cole: “Well, beans aren’t my all-time favorite either, but I’ll eat beans over that there sandwich any day.”


While chewing, the doctor looks surprised.


Cole: “Anyway doctor, since we have nearly 2 months to go inside this null space thing, how about…”


Serrag: “…a horse race through the corridors?”


Cole’s sentence was interrupted by a suddenly appearing Vulcan carrying a small cargo container towards the exit. Both women look behind them, not having noticed the engineer there before…



SCENE 7: Chief enemy


Commander Reinard steps onto the bridge and makes his way to the captain’s chair.


LT: “I want a report on that within the hour.”


Stilson: “You’ll have it, sir.”


LT: “Ah, Reinard… Sit down. What can I do for you?”


The chief of security sits down.


Reinard: “Since we have some time on our hands, it seemed to me we could schedule some unannounced battle drills a few times a week…”


LT: “I think that’s a splendid idea.”


Reinard: “Good. I’d like to start with the enlisted crew.”


LT: “Of course… Conduct the drills as you see fit, commander. But just out of curiosity; what kind of battle drills are you planning for them?”


Reinard: “For the first battle drill I’ll give each of them a phaser and then I’ll send them on a long run through selected corridors…”


LT: “A run?... What are the phasers for?”


Reinard: “A surprise attack on their 3rd lap. No worries, all phasers will be on the lowest possible setting; won’t cause more than an itch.”


LT: “Hehe, nice… Go right ahead.”


Reinard: “Commander Reinard to all enlisted crew who are currently not on duty. Report to deck 7, section 47 immediately.”


LT: “You’re really in a hurry to get started, aren’t you?”


Reinard: “There’s no time like the present…”


LT: “I guess you’re right.”


Reinard: “Now, if you don’t mind, captain, I’m going to change into an enemy costume…”


LT: “Make sure they know it’s a drill, you might end up in the morgue…”


Reinard: “Aye sir.”


The commander leaves a smiling captain on the bridge.



SCENE 8: Replicator operator


In the lounge, Bart serves a customer his drink.


Endersby: “There you go…”


Crewman: “Thanks…”


The crewman smells the drink and doesn’t really like it…


Crewman: “This smells a bit funny…”


Endersby: “Yes, divine, isn’t it? I programmed this drink myself. I’m kind of proud of it… Oh, if you don’t mind, I have another customer… Enjoy your drink…”


While Bart walks over to the bar, the crewman takes a sip and is clearly disgusted. He puts the glass down and leaves.


Endersby: “What can I do for you, ensign?”


Bynes: “I’ll have a Jestral tea…”


Endersby: “Of course…”


Bart operates the replicator.


Bynes: “Say Bart, have you noticed anything odd going on lately?”


Endersby: “There are loads of odd things going on, ensign. Especially this ‘so-called’ negative null space stuff…”


Bynes: “What of it?”


Bart gives Bynes his tea.


Endersby: “Well, I’m telling you, something weird is going on, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… This pocket of space suddenly appears out of nowhere… I’m telling you, I think it’s a setup.”


Bynes laughs…


Bynes: “A setup? By whom? And for what?”


Endersby: “Well, I don’t know… Like I said; I can’t quite put my finger on it.”


Bynes just sits there and smiles. He takes a sip from his tea.


Endersby: “What? You think I’m paranoid or something?”


Bynes: “Actually… That’s exactly what I think… In fact, that’s what some others seem to think as well… I’ve received a number of reports regarding this.”


Endersby: “People are talking behind my back? I knew this was a conspiracy! They all know I’m right and now they want to stop me!”


Bynes: “Bart…”


Endersby: “I won’t let this happen; I’ll talk to the captain about this… Unless he’s in it as well… But rest assured…”


Bynes interrupts the hologram.


Bynes: “BART!”


Endersby: “Huh?”


Bynes: “Shut up for one second, ok? There’s no conspiracy against you or anything like that… People simply expressed their concern about your paranoid behavior, that’s all. Why don’t you let me take a look at you and see if there’s anything wrong with your personality sub routines.”


Endersby: “Oooh no, you’ll decompile my program and…”


Bynes: “BART!”


Endersby: “Sorry… But I can’t just leave the lounge unattended…”


Bynes: “Cole is here most of the time and people are well capable of operating the replicators themselves. Just let me take a look at your sub routines; nothing will happen…”


Bart sighs and looks annoyed.


Endersby: “If you must…”


Bynes: “Thank you… You’ll thank me later.”


Endersby: “I doubt it… “



SCENE 9: Day 20 - By design


LT walks into engineering. He looks around and sees Serrag playing with some buttons on a console.


LT: “Serrag.”


Serrag: “Captain.”


LT: “I couldn’t find you or Elpek in the shuttle bay… Dare I ask about the status of the weapon?”


Serrag: “I think you would, yes.”


LT: “And what would your answer be?”


Serrag: “The weapon is finished.”


LT: “Good, good… Finally some good news around here…”


Serrag: “But we can’t test it…”


The captain breathes a deep sigh…


LT: “Of course not… Why not?”


Serrag: “We could test it here in the null space pocket, but there’s no way of telling what it will do… Seeing as we can’t use any method of propulsion in this region, there’s no telling what weapons would do. The energy might not be able to travel away from the weapon either, causing an overload or possibly a powerful explosion…”


LT: “We can’t take that chance… We’ll have to wait for another 5 weeks or so…”


Serrag: “Actually, 5 weeks, 6 days, 13 hours and 56 minutes to the second.”


LT doesn’t sound very happy…


LT: “Great…”


Serrag: “We’ll schedule a test it as soon as we leave null space.”


LT: “Alright. Thank you, commander.”


The captain spots Ensign Bynes at a console a short distance away and walks up to him…


LT: “Ensign, what’s the status on Bart? The people are starting to miss Bart…”


Bynes: “Just a minute, captain. I’m trying to reach the engineer that installed him. He’s supposed to be an expert on holography.”


LT: “Ah…”


A lieutenant appears on the console screen.


Dornheim: “Hello?”


Bynes: “Mr. Dornheim?”


Dornheim: “Yes, I’m Lieutenant Dornheim… Who is this?”


Bynes: “I’m Ensign Bynes, USS Greate Pier. I’m an engineer and I have a little trouble with a holographic unit…”


Dornheim: “I see… The lounge bartender?”


Bynes: “Indeed… May I bother you with some questions?”


Dornheim: “Of course…”


Bynes: “This hologram seems to have developed a eh… well, I wouldn’t call it a personality disorder, but…”


Dornheim: “Ah, I see, I see… And now you want to access the personality sub routines…”


Bynes: “Well, I’ve been trying, but I can’t say I was successful.”


Dornheim: “What kind of problem does he have?”


Bynes: “Well, he’s a bit paranoid… He sees conspiracies everywhere… And usually he is very friendly to his customers, but quite rude to people he doesn’t like…”


Dornheim starts to laugh…


Dornheim: “That sort of thing can happen, yes…”


Bynes: “You mean this thing is actually common?”


Dornheim: “Well, let me put it this way… Dr. Dan Bredsen developed the type of hologram that I installed on your ship. Bredsen designed the holograms to have an adaptive personality. It starts ‘life’, if you will, as a blank. It develops its own personality. And the personalities of those holograms can literally be as diverse as personalities of actual people.”


Bynes: “I see… So, he simply evolved to the ‘person’ he is today? All by himself?”


Dornheim: “I don’t know if ‘evolve’ is the correct word, but in essence you’re right. Just last month I made a minor repair to the program of a hologram of the same type that is installed on your ship. That particular hologram never stopped smiling and laughing… When I accessed his program, I expected to see bunnies, flowers and sunshine instead of algorithms and dry data, hahaha… On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve also encountered holograms similar to your eh… Bart isn’t it?”


Bynes: “Yes, that’s right.”


Dornheim: “He wasn’t too pleased I gave him that name; Bart Endersby… Come to think of it, maybe that started this whole unfriendly personality thing, hahaha… No, but seriously… I installed an Emergency Medical Hologram on USS Voyager. I regret the day I activated him. This hologram was the most unfriendly and arrogant hologram I ever installed…”


Bynes: “Was he also the same type of hologram as Bart?”


Dornheim: “No, not at all… I’m sure you heard of Voyager. She was flung into the delta quadrant and it took her 7 years to get back home… When that hologram was installed, it was a relatively primitive hologram, compared to modern day ones. But this specific hologram distinguished itself from the others of his kind… The Voyager EMH made miraculous achievements during those 7 years… All other holograms of the same type were taken out of medical service not too long after their first activation. Starfleet reassigned them to scrub plasma conduits on waste transfer barges I believe… You could tinker with them, they were able to learn, but their personalities were not adaptive like that of Bart; for the most part they were programmed.”


Bynes: “They deliberately programmed a grumpy doctor? That doesn’t make sense…”


Dornheim: “Tell me about it… Its personality, as well as its physical parameters were an exact match for the creator of the hologram. And I can know… I met the bastard…”


Bynes: “Can you tell me how I can access the personality sub routines?”


Dornheim: “I can… Access port 128, channel 4F… That’s were the sub routines begin that control the personality and its development… But I’d also like to give you a piece of advice, ensign.”


Bynes: “By all means…”


Dornheim: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it…”


Bynes: “Ah… You think I should leave it the way it is?”


Dornheim: “Unless Bart poses a threat to the safety of the crew or ship, but I doubt that… A friend of mine has the shortest fuse imaginable, but I never considered having him committed to hospital for a brain transplant…”


Bynes: “Hahaha, I get your point… I’ll consider your advice…”


Dornheim: “Is there anything else I can do for you? I’m afraid I have a million things to do…”


Bynes: “No, you’ve been a great help, sir. Thank you very much.”


Dornheim: “No problem.”


Bynes: “Ensign Bynes out.”


LT: “Well, that was certainly interesting…”


Bynes: “I’d say so… What do you think I should do, sir?”


LT: “Well, this conversation you just had gives you all the information you need to solve this issue. I suggest you think about it a bit and make your decision.”


Bynes: “But sir…”


LT: “Whatever you do, do it as soon as you can; the people want Bart back.”


The captain leaves…


Bynes: “Yes, sir…”


The engineer is left thinking.



SCENE 10: Eyeballing a cure


The ship’s first officer walks into sickbay where he quickly finds the chief medical officer.


Shelley: “Commander, what can I do for you?”


Eisinga: “I just came to check how things are going…”


Shelley: “Pretty good…”


Eisinga: “No unusual complaints since we entered null space?”


Shelley: “Just a few cases of perhaps a new form of starfield syndrome.”


Eisinga: “Starfield what?”


Shelley: “Starfield syndrome. Some people can get nauseous if they look at the stars when traveling at warp speeds… They’re sent into a sort of hypnotized state if they look at them a little too long… It’s also been known to cause headaches…”


Eisinga: “Ah, I see…”


Shelley: “This is probably a yet undescribed variety, as no crew has ever been subjected to spinning around in null space for weeks on end… And especially since we aren’t even at warp…”


Eisinga: “Well, if I were you, I’d be the one to describe it, haha…”


Shelley smiles…


Shelley: “Working on it already…”


Eisinga: “Anything else?”


Shelley: “A few crew members that have dropped by were slightly irritated and also a bit restless… Nothing a relaxant couldn’t fix.”


Eisinga: “Understandable… But we still have weeks to go… Dose ‘em up to the eyeballs if you have to, doc…”


Both officers smile…


Shelley: “Will do…”


Eisinga leaves.



SCENE 11: Art by Bredsen


Manco Bynes walks into the lounge carrying a small cargo container. About 20 cm long, wide and high. He kneels down near a panel and opens it.


Cole: “Hello sir, is that Bart?”


Bynes puts on a friendly smile.


Bynes: “Yes, it is…”


He picks up a cube from the container and places it in a recess in the wall. As soon as it clicks into place, a single green indicator light switches on.


Cole: “People have been missing him around here…”


Bynes: “Well, that wait is over… Computer, activate holographic bartender.”


Bart magically appears. He looks around and immediately attacks the engineer verbally when he sees him.


Endersby: “Hey you! Why have I been deactivated for so long? I thought you were just going to take a look at my sub routines.”


Bynes looks at Cole.


Bynes: “Isn’t he adorable?”


Both humans laugh…


Endersby: “Are you making fun of me now as well? Well, I’m telling you, something weird is going on, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…”


Cole: “You left him unchanged?”


Bynes: “Yes, I have…”


Endersby: “Sure… Keep talking like I’m not even here! What did you say? You mean you put me in a box for 20 days and you didn’t even change any sub routines? This is outrageous!”


Bynes: “The holography expert that installed you told me ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.”


Endersby: “You don’t need an expert on anything to conclude that… And that ‘so-called’ expert gave me this ‘funny’ name… I’ll give you some advice as well: if it isn’t broken, don’t drag it to engineering and store it for 3 weeks. Now get out of my lounge!”


Bart starts arranging the things behind the bar in his own way again… He mumbles to himself…


Endersby: “…just look at this mess…”


Cole starts laughing…


Cole: “Adorable indeed, hahaha… Maybe nothing about Bart was broken, but what made you decide not to change his personality?”


Bynes: “It was something the captain said… ‘The people want Bart back’, so I brought Bart back…”


Cole smiles approvingly.


Cole: “Welcome back, Bart…”


Bynes picks up the empty container and leaves… Cole continues her cooking.



SCENE 12: Day 37 - Sporting officers


After another one of Reinard’s battle drills, Lieutenant Hinsdale and Ensign Drummond exit the gym… The sweaty men are walking at a slow pace, both with a towel around their neck. Hinsdale wipes the sweat off of his forehead.


Hinsdale : “I can understand that Commander Reinard plans extra battle drills, but why so many?”


The captain, also sweating like a salami on a hot day, exits the gym and quickly catches up with the 2 night shift officers. He’s ready to pass the men as he overhears their conversation.


Drummond: “I agree; we must have had 4 battle drills this week alone…”


Hinsdale : “I know we have some extra time to spend on things other than our normal tasks, but why don’t they organize something fun for the crew as well? A bit of compensation…”


LT: “Like what, lieutenant?”


The 2 men seem nearly shocked to hear the captain’s voice just behind them and all 3 of them stop.


Drummond: “Sorry sir, we didn’t notice you there…”


LT: “No, I’m sorry; I sort of listened in to your conversation by accident…”


Hinsdale : “That’s alright, sir…”


LT: “But what kind of activities are you referring to, Hinsdale ?”


Hinsdale : “Well, anything really… Perhaps a sports tournament…”


Drummond answers sarcastically…


Drummond: “Yeah, good idea, more sweating… How about movie nights?”


LT: “Lots of other ships have movie nights as well, not a bad idea. I’d go… But why don’t you organize things like that yourself? All it needs is permission from a senior officer, which wouldn’t be a problem in most cases… The senior officers on this ship will listen to any opinion or suggestion the crew has to offer… So if you want to organize movie nights, you have permission to do so as long as you keep me informed about that.”


Drummond: “Well… Great! Thank you, sir.”


LT: “I’m sure there’s a cargo bay somewhere with some room in it… As for sporting events, just coordinate with Commander Eisinga…”


Hinsdale : “Alright. Thank you, captain.”


LT: “Now, if you’ll excuse me… I smell like a wet dog; I hear the beckon call of the shower.”



SCENE 13: Nullified null space


It’s quiet in astrometrics when Eisinga comes in to take a look… Only Amini is present.


Eisinga: “Anything new?”


Amini sighs…


Amini: “No, nothing I’m afraid. All the data we gathered on this null space pocket was gathered on the first day. Except for one thing.”


Eisinga: “Which is?”


Amini: "We were able to scan all solar systems along the entire edge of the null space pocket.”


Eisinga: “That hardly seems possible…”


Amini: “The distances are huge, indeed…”


Amini presses a few buttons and the map of the null space pocket appears on the main viewer once again.


Amini: “When the ship was here 5 and a half weeks ago or so…”


After a few more buttons a red dot appears close to where the ship entered the phenomenon.


Amini: “…we were able to scan this solar system.”


After another few buttons a solar system at the opposite end of the null space pocket is highlighted.


Eisinga: “Amazing…”


Amini: “It seems negative null space does not interfere with sensors in any way; as if there isn’t any distance between us and the scanned solar system at all…”


Eisinga: “How many solar systems did you map?”


Amini: “A few thousand, sir…”


Eisinga: “A few thousand? This pocket is space turns out to be somewhat of a mixed blessing rather than a negative thing only… Anything interesting among the scan results?”


Amini: “Well, one thing caught my eye… It’s a planet in the system we dubbed NS 1037… It’s the outermost of just 3 planets in that system… Perhaps we’re getting false readings from long range sensors, but if they are correct, it’s the biggest planet the Federation has ever recorded…”


Eisinga: “I’ll make it a point to mention this to the captain. It’s worth checking out.”


Amini: “Definitely…”


Eisinga: “Good work, ensign…”


Amini: “Thank you, sir.”



SCENE 14: Day 62 - Too early to cheer and steer


LT: “Captain’s log, stardate 63646.00… It’s 0355 hours. Commander Eisinga, Lieutenant Commander Serrag and myself have interrupted our sleep to witness the moment we will exit the negative null space pocket. We managed to map thousands of solar systems surrounding this phenomenon during our involuntary journey through it. The mapping of the phenomenon itself should prevent ships from accidentally entering it in the future. Somehow, I doubt all of this valuable data will cool the admiral’s temper…”


Serrag: “We’re 30 seconds from the edge, sir.”


LT: “Alright… Helm, fire up the impulse engines. One quarter impulse… I want to get away from this area as soon as possible…”


Drummond: “Aye sir, one quarter impulse…”


Serrag: “Have you forgotten, sir?”


LT: “What, commander?”


Serrag: “Sir, cut the impulse engines immediately!”


LT: “Explain yourself…”


Serrag: “No time, sir.”


LT: “Helm, cut the engines.”


Drummond: “All stop sir… Sort of…”


LT: “Serrag?”


Serrag: “Entering normal space… now.”


The Greate Pier indeed enters normal space, aft first.


Serrag: “Sir, the aft section left null space first. If impulse engines were active during that time, the ship would have been pushed back in again, at considerably lower velocity than before…”


LT: “Woops… Kind of forgot about our rotation… Helm, level this ship out and take us a million kilometers away from this phenomenon…”


Drummond: “Aye sir.”


LT walks up to Serrag…


LT: “How bad was my mistake?”


Serrag: “Fairly considerable… It would have taken approximately 16 months to clear the null space again…”


LT: “16 months?!”


Serrag: “Correct, sir…”


LT: “Keep this out of your log, will you?”


Serrag: “Of course, captain.”


LT: “You just saved my life, commander… Not that I think I heard that last about this 2 month detour, but if we went back into the null space pocket…”


The captain shows a worried face…


LT: “…the admiral would have had my hide nailed to the wall of his office for that one…”


Serrag: “I’m glad we prevented it sir, since it sounds like a particularly unsanitary human custom.”



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