Star Trek Hunter
Episode 15: A Stitch in Spacetime
Scene 6: Bob
Transporter Engineer K’rok felt the implosion and knew something had gone terribly wrong. But he stayed at his duty post. If there was anything he could do to help the situation, he was more likely to be needed at Transporter 2 than anywhere else. Internally, he began reciting poetry to steel his nerves and prepare for whatever action might be required.
The order came from Dr. Carrera about three minutes after the implosion. “K’rok, this is Carrera, please beam Jarrong out of Engineering and into the brig."
“Aye sir,” K’rok responded.
“I have become this boat’s jailor,” K’rok grumbled to himself as he engaged the transporter.
A moment later, his commanding officer, Midshipman Tammy Brazil, walked into the transporter room.
“Are you okay, K’rok?”
“Aside from just having imploded and becoming the Hunter’s designated jailor, everything is bindaas*,” K’rok replied.
“When you didn’t call to check on me, I realized this had to be your first time through,” said Midshipman Brazil. “I don’t know how many times we will go through this, but you called me every time and when it was my first time, you really talked me down off the edge. I’m going to need that from you, okay?”
“I will do that,” K’rok responded.
*bindaas (Hindi - fantastic)
- * -
“Bob?” said Wesley.
“Bob!!!” said Wes.
“Bob??” said Crusherman
“Hi Bob, it’s been forever,” said Old Man Crusher. “You look just like the last time I saw you. Which was now…”
“Bob???” Carrera asked.
The alien standing in the middle of Engineering had a face that was almost as famous as Wesley’s. He was known throughout Star Fleet as “The Traveler” and was listed as a “powerful alien with unknown abilities, but including the ability to travel apparently at will through spacetime as well as the ability to alter the performance of high end warp engines with his mind.” He was also registered as a “generally friendly alien, species unknown.”
“Wesley?” the alien said, looking at each of the four Wesley Crushers. He decided to embrace the oldest version. “If this is truly our most recent meeting, I am so sorry. But you know by now how hard it is to keep track of people when you travel. And how difficult it is to remain anywhere for any length of time.”
The old Wesley Crusher had tears in his eyes. It was clearly affecting Free Love Wes as well. “I’ve missed you, Bob,” said Old Man Crusher.
“We’ve missed much of each other’s lives,” alien Bob replied, glancing about at the three younger Wesleys, surprise registering on his face to varying degrees. "Apparently..."
“Bob???” Carrera repeated.
Wes put his hand on Carrera’s shoulder. “He’s so old he forgot his name long ago. I had to call him something, and ‘Bob’ just kind of… stuck”
“It has the virtue of being easy to remember,” said alien Bob. “I think my original name was a few dozen words long and I don’t remember a single one of them. It had been so long since I had given my actual name to anyone that when Wes asked for my name, I was completely at a loss. The life of a traveler is a fairly solitary existence. I don’t know how long I bounced around spacetime just hoping that someone mildly interesting would show up.”
Alien Bob walked up to Carrera, put his hand on Carrera’s shoulder – two very large fingers and a very large thumb. “Rek, this is a magnificent engine. And you trained your staff very well – they have taken remarkably good care of it.”
“If that’s the case,” responded Carrera, slightly put off by the nickname, “why does my engine keep imploding?”
“You have all the clues you need to answer that question,” said alien Bob. “But you set the rules for this process. That’s why what we are going through now will be referred to as the ‘Carrera Paradox.’ You invented it and it is a beautifully designed paradox… Having people experience different cycles at different times has helped the crew remain calm and focused. I don’t think you would have survived this long if you hadn’t built that feature into the way everyone is experiencing your paradox.”
“Bob’s the big clue,” said Old Man Crusher. “It took forever for me to figure out what he is… You’ve been really studying the higher math theory you downloaded from the great library of the progenitors.”
Carrera nodded. “In theory our entire universe is composed of information that can be directly manipulated mathematically…”
“Look at Bob,” said Old Man Crusher. “Look at his face, closely. Don’t be distracted by his hands – they’re a subspecies anomaly. Look at his face…”
Carrera’s eyes widened – as if the lights had suddenly come on in his brain… “You’re one of the progenitors!”
“That wasn’t what we called ourselves,” said alien Bob. “I’ve forgotten what we called ourselves. Progenitors is a nice name, though. I think my people would have been pleased if they had known you would eventually call them that.”
“I didn’t think there were any of you left,” said Carrera.
“There are billions of us – well, our biological descendants. But they’re all borg.”
“I know what has been causing the implosions,” Carrera said suddenly.
“Took you long enough, numbskull,” said Old Man Crusher. “The problem is not local spacetime or the engine. The problem is the engineer…”
“But this is only the seventh cycle,” Carrera said.
“We’ll all be here after the next implosion to help with the final one,” said Free Love Wes. “During the next and final loop, you’re going to have to set everything in motion with Captain Irons so you can successfully end this paradox. I won’t get to see much of you on the next cycle, so I’ll say it now… It really is great to see you again, and all grown up, Rekki. I know you’ll get to spend some time with Bob. I hope I get to spend some time with you too.” The long-haired, bell-bottom jeans wearing version of Wesley Crusher embraced Carrera again.
The original Wesley Crusher said in exhaustion, “One more loop…”
Crusherman wrapped a red-spandex clad, musclebound arm around the shoulders of his younger self. “You’re a tough kid, you can handle it…”