Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime
Scene 4: Crusherman
“I have two sons and a daughter.” Chief Flight Specialist Thyssi zh’Qaoleq was at her watch station in interceptor bay 2 on the starboard side of the U.S.S. Hunter. Chief Flight Specialist Dewayne Guth was at the watch station in interceptor bay 1 on the port side. These watch stations were side by side and separated by a translucent wall, which allowed the interceptor pilots to interact while on watch, but also maintained separate atmosphere control, so that the bays operated independently. A similar wall separated these stations from the shuttle bay (which could only accommodate the wagon.) Flight Specialist Winnifried Salazaar and Navigator Eli Strahl were swatting a small rubber ball back and forth, bouncing it off the wagon. Both were telepathic, but Guth didn’t really care. He had gotten used to them long ago.
“Wait,” said Guth. “You were in the Andorian Imperial Guard for four years and you’ve been in Star Fleet for three years. You don’t look old enough for all of that… When did you have time to have children?”
Thyssi laughed. “You humans are so odd about age. You’re all obsessed with appearing to be younger than you actually are. I’m 23. I joined the AIG when I was 16. My sons are 7 and 5 years old and my daughter is 2.”
“I guess it seems strange to me – trill mothers typically stay with their children at least until we’re 10. Human mothers even longer,” Guth replied.
“That would be really weird. We are typically raised by our grandparents and great grandparents, not by our parents. Andorians become full citizens with full rights and responsibilities at age 15. Every andorian must join the AIG at age 16 – although we can defer that for as long as three years for educational purposes. On their 19th birthday an andorian who has deferred service no longer has a choice. And for every year we defer, we have to add an extra year of service. The minimum is three years, so if you wait until you’re 19, you have to serve six years.”
A panicked Eli Strahl suddenly reached out telepathically to both pilots. They turned to see him standing at the transparent wall behind them. Communication was currently enabled among all three bays.
“Settle down, Eli,” said Guth. “We know. It’s different for everyone. This is my fourth time through the loop…”
“Eighth for me. First time you bothered asking if I have children,” said Thyssi.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s an engineering problem,” Guth added. “Just figure out what you want to do with your remaining lives. We know we go through this eight times. I’m not sure if there are any more cycles. It’s different for everyone…”
- * -
Dr. Carrera, Wes, and Wesley – along with most of the Hunter’s engineering department – were standing in a group, watching, stupefied, as another Wesley Crusher – looking much like the younger Wesley Crusher, but wearing red spandex tights and form-fitting black rubber boots – was flying slowly around the warp core, investigating it at close range.
“I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed or impressed,” said Wesley. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that buffed out – I must have really hit the gym…”
“Yeah, the flying trick was pretty cool, too,” said Wes. “Takes a ton of concentration, though and I just don’t have it in me these days. It gets worse than this. We really got into the superhero thing for a while. Thought it would impress the ladies. I even took to wearing a giant blue letter “C” on the chest toward the end. But the whole superhero thing kind of backfired after all that hard work.”
“Backfired? How?” Wesley asked.
“Well, you know, we like girls. But the girls tended to leave Crusherman alone and we kept getting hit on by other men…”
“CRUSHERMAN???” Wesley and Carrera asked in unison.