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Out Of Mind » MEMBER ADVERTISING & BLOG FORUMS » T.S. "Tray" Caladan » THE ORVILLE "Wish Upon a Starr" by TS Caladan

THE ORVILLE "Wish Upon a Starr" by TS Caladan

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1 THE ORVILLE "Wish Upon a Starr" by TS Caladan on Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:40 pm


"Wish Upon a Starr"

by TS Caladan

"Ed, did you do this?" Commander Grayson (Captain's ex-wife) continued a small rant that she believed no one else on the bridge heard. Most of them heard her over the few electronic sounds in the background. She was pissed, but controlled her anger.
       The 'day' onboard the Orville started unsmooth.
       "Don't call me, Ed. It's Captain...what?" The Captain was pissed and did the same.
       "You moved your seat an inch ahead of mine. I measured last night...Captain."
       "No, I didn't."
       "Yes you did," Commander Grayson (one of the Commanders) insisted.
       Now their private conversation was heard by all. It got a bit heated...
       He declared in all honesty, "I had someone else do it."
       She looked over from her seat and blinked her eyes a few times. "Great." Kelly asked, "Why?"
       Captain Mercer answered with an attitude, "Because I'm the Captain. Hey, it isn't a co-captaincy here. You're First Officer. Who designed these chairs, anyway? I should be a step higher. Hey, there's an idea."
       Glances from the bridge crew went around to one another. They were caught within a "couple's argument." Issues remained or resurfaced, apparently.
       "Hey, Captain. Don't you think...sometimes, two cooks in the kitchen might be a good thing? Maybe you need a Devil's Advocate? Advisors? Challenges? But, course, only on occasion, sir!"
       Lt. Malloy, with reddish beard, was an old friend; he'd heard similar arguments and "gripes" from the couple before, only it wasn't in space. He quietly expressed, "Oh, boy. Here we go."
       Navigator LaMarr turned his head to the helmsman and smiled.
       Grayson answered his question from a minute earlier: "Now who'd design such equality, Fung-Schwayed upon a Union vessel? Hm. Maybe a person who realized the importance of the First Officer's valued experience and skills, with respect to the Captain...of course."
       In response, Captain Ed blew his top in front of the bridge crew. "Christ! I don't know: Could it have been...a WOMAN?"
       Commander Bortus stared into the eyes of Lt. Alara Kitan (the other alien on bridge) as if to say: Is this what married or ex-married people are supposed to do?
       She returned the look as if to say: I think it's an Earthling-thing they do when they still care about each other?
       Bortus thought, Oh.
       First Officer softly and calmly said in a low register, "Wow. 25th Century chauvinism. Who put you in charge?" Commander Grayson knew very well who was responsible for him sitting in the Big Chair. She also knew she stated the wrong words and would be immediately reprimanded in front of the bridge crew.
       Malloy attempted a rescue. He semi-screamed, "Oh, God!" so attention was diverted off his friend (Ed's "ex") he'd known for years.
       Captain Mercer appropriately responded, sharply, "You have something to say, helmsman?"
       The lieutenant quickly pointed out the large window at an impressive nebula in space a great distance away. "HA. Yes, sir. I apologize, sir. For a second I thought I saw God. But. But it's, it's just a nebula...out there."
       Artificial Isaac informed the bio-forms, "M1 NGC, a famous one. That is the Crab Nebula," the Science Officer and android also understood and diffused the human hostilities, somewhat.
       Lt. LaMarr whispered to Lt. Malloy, "That's fitting."
       The Captain chimed in with, "Reminds me. People. I've been meaning to mention this to one and all of you..."
       Everyone in earshot was relieved that the conversation changed. They turned and were at attention. What was next?
       Still in a foul mood, Captain Mercer continued: "People. 'Ass' has been said way too often in the line of duty and ass-related things, you know. Look. I don't care, on your own time, you can ASS IT UP all you want: ass, ass, ass..."
       Lt. Malloy spoke up, "Moi? I mean, us, on duty, sir? I hadn't noticed." (Captain and his old friend were the biggest offenders). 
      Suddenly, they were buzzed on an EMERGENCY FREQUENCY! Buzzer stopped and Captain Mercer rerouted the information to his staffroom where his chief advisors relocated. "Let's go!" Ed loudly said and ordered: "Get the Doctor."

       The scene changed to the staffroom. All informalities were dropped and a professional veneer was presented by the Captain, Commander Grayson, Commander Bortus, Lt. Kitan, Doctor Finn and Isaac. Each sat around the elongated, chevron-shaped table.
       When the special message [Union logo page] appeared on the table-screen from Admiral Halsey, along with electronic beeps, the Captain ordered everyone out of the room...
       His ex-wife protested: "But..."
       "It's a Directive 11," Ed Mercer said with a raised right-hand. "My eyes only, from the Admiral and fearless leader. Please."
       The others did what they were told and filed out.
       When Mercer clicked the screen to the next page, he yelled out so most heard: "Wait! Alara! I mean, Lieutenant Kitan?"
       The short, cute, strong, Xelayan Security Head trailed behind the group. "What? Captain?"
       "The news concerns you, Lieutenant," the Captain informed her.
       "It does?" She was surprised, a bit stunned.
       A few of the others watched, curiously.
       Mercer waved them away and they left.
       Door closed.
       "Come. Sit. You have to see this, Alara." The Captain's expression was very serious.
       She did so, quickly. Lt. Kitan stared into the screen and further pages of Halsey's very private message.
       Ed said, "You understand how Top Secret this is? Divulge to no one, Lieutenant."
       "I'm Head of Security. You saw the test results, sir. If you can't trust me?"
       "Read it."
       The alien's forehead ridges moved higher, her eyes were wider. She asked for clarification: "We're at war, sir? My people, home world, 5 million Xelayans against 5 billion Earthlings and more on other planets?"
       "Easy. Read closer. It's the whole Union. We are INDIRECTLY at war, Lieutenant. Xelayans are suddenly at war with the prime financiers of the Union, our highest sponsors, the Yehcruy..."
       "The Yehcruy," Alara whispered in disgust. "I know them well, sir. Untrustworthy spiders. Don't trust my experience. That's my advice, sir."
       "They bankroll everything in the Union! My bosses are now telling me to..."
       "What, Captain?"
       "...Not trust you...and keep an eye out on you, in a sense."
       The 23-year old girl was alarmed. "You mean, like...I'm a spy?" She was flabbergasted and caught her breath.
       Captain Ed assured her, "Relax. I don't believe it for a second, kid, I mean, Head of Security. I know we're on the same side. Screw'm! They can kiss my ass."
       Alara Kitan took his advice, literally. She relaxed and calmed herself. She was sure her next statement was wrong, but she said it anyway: "They can kiss OUR asses, sir. If I may say?"
       Mercer saw the alien, maybe for the first time, as a really cool, neat and sensitive person. The D11 message from the Admiral changed nothing in his mind. He also realized how attractive she was, for a Xelayan.
       The Lieutenant was still dazed. She looked up as if in another world. Kitan said to herself, mostly: "You bosses...think I'm working and have been working against them? Wow." She was about to cry. She asked a question from her big heart, "Can I make a confession, sir?"
       Ed Mercer lit up, even more interested in what she'd say. "YES. Go for it."
       "I'm really..." Then Alara cried. "...Not that strong."
       The Captain almost cried. "Wow."

       The scene changed to much later in the 'day.' The Orville had responded to an unexpected beacon or "magnetic" signal from a mysterious/rogue planet, which slowly moved through basically a vast Void (empty, nothing) area of space. The planetoid even had its own satellite. In time and at maximum speed, the Void was penetrated by the Orville. Hardly any H-Level planets were within this massive, elongated Void that engulfed a lone planetoid with moon that transmitted a powerful signal.

       The Orville investigated the source with a Ground Team comprised of only the Captain, Isaac and three Security officers [not Lt. Kitan].

       "It is over this mound, Captain." Isaac led the way. The unfazed android adjusted lower extremities or changed them entirely to multiple modes whenever the situation called for subtle or drastic changes.
       Brilliant colors were the first thing that struck your attention, everywhere. Skies were blue. Clouds were pink and green. Grass was turquoise. Trees were lavender, purple and violet. No red. The small hill in front of the G-Team had a system of curved, yellow-bricked paths around it that stretched to distant places over and through natural terrain. The odd planetoid contained a bizarre, "trippy" topography with strange plants in very bright colors. The moon didn't orbit and stayed in the same spot in the sky.
       Then they saw it. They saw a grounded, round, silver spaceship amid incredible jungles, forests, mountains, grasslands, streams, lakes and waterfalls. A man in a silver-blue spacesuit emerged from the center of the disk, which appeared split or opened in the middle section. A ramp formed in front of him.
       The Ground Team felt no threat, did not pull out weapons and actually felt GOOD like "good vibrations" surrounded the figure. Sweet music was heard. The Team felt they could trust the words of the native humanoid. They stepped closer. THEN~
       "Oh, my GOD! Do you know who that is?!" Captain Ed Mercer screamed.
       They walked closer. His Security Team had no clue who the bearded man was.
       It took moments for the android to do a facial-analysis from the data base.
       The bearded man waved. He smiled. He was very happy to have guests, ever so pleased that his signal was received and someone outside of the Void responded. And they were human beings. "Far-out, man."

       Onboard the Orville, the bridge received the first transmissions from the Captain on exactly what they discovered upon arrival...
       "Gordon! You there?"
       "Gee. Got a Gordon out of him over the air," Lt. Malloy expressed to those on the bridge. He pushed buttons. "What's up?"
       Commander Kelly Grayson, Dr. Finn, Alara Kitan, Bortus and a few others gathered around the window that converted into a big screen. Before a picture visualized on the screen...
       Ed yelled: "You won't believe who's gonna come onboard, man? Who we found, who sent the signal! He's ALIVE! But I got him first. I mean, I'm the Captain! Captain's privilege." Ed couldn't control and contain just how fucking excited he was. "I'll share him with you guys later, right? Right? Fuck! Ha! I know something you don't know. You really won't believe it, dude! OH we gotta get high with him..." The Captain breathed heavy, like he had a panic-attack.
       "Breathe, breathe," was heard in the background.
       "Who's ass did you find, sir?" Malloy asked. He winked and chuckled across at his buddy, the navigator, with that one.
       "RINGO FREAKING STARR's ASS! That's who! The Beatle! He's frikken alive and I'm looking at him right now, man!"
       Navigator LaMarr did not know the name and asked Gordon, "Who is Ringo Freaking Star?"
       "What?! You don't know? One of the greatest musicians of all time, what super music! The man was a BEATLE!" Malloy expressed with full force and a lot of affection.
       The Doctor was speechless. She knew.
       Kelly Grayson knew and gasped. "Really?" Her eyes were twice their usual size. Like Doctor Finn, she couldn't believe the news.
       Alara Kitan didn't know who Ringo was, more than four centuries ago on Earth. She asked, "Can you bring up a live picture from the surface?"
       "No problem," Lt. LaMarr replied and punched the right buttons that connected a live feed from below.
       Alara was confused. "Captain met a beetle? One of the greatest musicians of all time?"

Bortus reacted first to the image on the large window-screen. "They did a good job making him look like a man. Beetles on my planet are not musical; crickets are."

       On the surface of the rogue planetoid, the Ground Team and one mega-electrified Captain of the Orville, entered what Ringo called his "Submarine" on his planet that he named "Pepperland." Ed was in shock. Words were not forthcoming on the short trek into a tremendously beautiful and intricately crafted/sculpted living room. Bright colors, stars and cool paisley patterns were everywhere. New and wonderful music played.
       Anything they could possibly want was replicated on the amazing, curved table in front of the men. Ringo happily told them to indulge themselves with anything they'd care to eat or drink or anything else...
       Isaac rolled close to the men and was on 'record' mode.
       Richard Starkey and Ed Mercer sat: Captain on a comfortable bean bag chair and the former Beatle inside a really cool, sphere-chair that turned on a small pole. A sunken section (like in 'Help') stood off-center in the living area...
       Ed ran into the depression, up and down a few times, like a thrilled child, then calmly returned to his seat and acted all normal...yawned, like this was an everyday occurrence.
       The guards with guns looked at each other and remained at attention in the background. They didn't get it. No one drank, ate or did anything else.
       Ed Mercer's first real conversation concerned Ringo's ship. "It's not yellow. Your submarine, Ringo. Not...yellow."
       The musician was oblivious. He lowered the 'new' music until it was barely heard. He wanted to hear the Captain clearly, without distractions. "Don't understand, mate. At any rate..."
       Captain Mercer asked, "And also...the planetoid 'Pepperland,' ah, from, from the, the 'Submarine Yellow' album, yes? I saw the cartoon, with the band's music! It was marvelous."
       "Not familiar with any film or Submarine Album. Yellow, green, blue or any color, Captain."
       "Huh?" Ed looked at his Security Team. They were no help.
       The Captain looked at the robot. It was no help. Isaac stood silent and accurately recorded the proceedings inside the 'Submarine' craft. The android understood that the ship hadn't operated in space for centuries.
       Ed asked the drummer, "Wait. What's the last Beatle album you remember? I know them all."
       Starkey said, "We were directed to work on 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' together, many of the songs they gave us came from that time period. Could've been on either one..."
       "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait...wait, wait, wait...Ringo?"
       "Please don't call me: Ringo. I hated wearing the damn things; wasn't my idea! Gimmicks, you see? Anything to sell you. Sway you with bad mojo."
      "Ah. I see." Ed pointed at the musician's hands. "No rings. Gloves. Oh. What should I call you?"
      He answered, "Anything but Dick. Rich is just fine, mate." Rich smiled. The ex-Beatle removed the gloves and said, "Really, no rings, eh? And no Lords of Rings, anymore. Ha." His fingers were bare. "I'm free. Been free as a bird. But lonely. It's why I finally sent out the transmission, after so long in storage. What were the odds? Here, there, everywhere. A lot I can do, learned to do...good magic, and, and have done recently, musically, that is..."
      "Really?" Captain couldn't wait to find out more and especially show him off to Kelly, Gordon and the rest of the Orville crew. What about the Union? Was this a Big Score? War with the Xelayans and thoughts about Alara were the last things on his mind at the moment. He returned to his original thought: "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait...Ring...Richard?"
       The Captain forgot the question.
       Instead, Mercer asked, "'Sgt. Pepper!' 'Magical Mystery Tour,' ah, ah, 'Abbey Road.' Rich, are you telling me, and 'Let it Be''ve, you've never heard of those albums?"
       "John, George and the other one must have done those albums with another drummer, friend. We had a great three-year run at the top of the pops, pinnacle of the Industry. No one knew what really went on but us. I'm a total blank from 1967 on...on Earth, I mean..."
       "Isaac," the Captain ordered the droid with a superior attitude.
       The humanoid-machine on legs now activated and responded: "Sir?" 
      "Calculate the possibility, which reality is the most likely? One: Mr. Starr here..."
       "Please don't call me: Mr. Starr..."
       Ed was surprised. He replied, "Oh, not Starr, either?"
       "Ha. I'm not a rich star, anymore, eh? I'll explain later. It's Starkey."
       "Isaac. Has Mr. Starkey's mind been wiped? Two: Are we dealing with a parallel universe where things are a bit different? Or is there another more likely possibility?"
       "Oh, for sure. It was a mind-wipe: I detect minute brain scars inside his skull. In conjunction with a third possibility, alien influence or even a temporal factor."
       Ed asked Rich, "You look so young. That would go with your last memories of 1966. So you were FROZEN?"
       "If I may, sir?" Isaac answered: "I have tied in with the Submarine's computer or old, digital record. She flew, probably in space, for dozens of years. Fuel-cells were never recharged, made it to this world and died right here, I imagine. Correct, Mr. Beatle?"
       "I was self-frozen for centuries, by choice...after I explored the black, Nowhere-Nothing Void around me until my Sub found only lifelessness. I eventually ran out of gas, so to speak. Just made it back here to my Home that they provided for me. The planetoid they gave Elvis was far more impressive. He wound up with many friends and associates around him; I wound up in a fortress of solitude as a fool on a hill, making songs no one will hear..."
      "Wait. Isn't that? Anyway. It's time for you to come back into the fold. You've returned to us after all this time, Richard. Ha. There's a whole galaxy waiting to honor you, Mr. Starkey. Wait until you see Earth now! Wow. It will knock your knickers off."
       "People. Billions of people out there, you say, mate? They remember yesterday?"
       "A HELL of a lot more than that! Waiting to love you, honor you, my friend. Beatles music is known off-world on some planets. To this day!" 
       Richard seemed worried, no longer enthused about the possibility of 'worlds waiting for him.'
       Ed wondered: Why the frown? "What's wrong?"
       "I'm scared." 

     Onboard the Union spaceship Orville, the bridge crew received another extremely important message from Admiral Halsey. When it was sorted out that Captain Mercer was a part of the Ground Team, Halsey broke in on the screen and ordered Commander Bortus to ARREST Head of Security, Alara Kitan!
       The Moclan called Security without a second thought. Malloy and LaMarr looked on in disbelief as Alara (because of her super-strength) allowed her own troops to handle her. She was taken to the brig and imprisoned behind a force-field wall.
       She was near tears when they took her away.
       "Damn," came out of the navigator's mouth.
       "That's not right," was expressed by the helmsman.

      Within one of the ship's Transporter rooms, a small gathering of Beatles fans gathered together. They were supremely excited: Beatle mania 400 years later! In the room stood the Doctor, Kelly Grayson, helmsman Malloy and an exuberant Yaphit, the green, gelatinous creature [big Beatles fan]. The group sang the old songs, their bodies rocked along as they waited for two people. Yaphit bounced off the floor in time to the beat and sang the loudest.
       When the teleportation actually happened, all was quiet.
       ~Captain and a Beatle materialized on two of 6 pads inside the hexagonal-shaped transporter floor.
       There was a short, still moment when no one moved and only eyes shifted back and forth. They didn't know what to do and then the gang EXPLODED out with a loud: "RINGO!"
       "It's Ringo Starr!" and "You're my favorite!" And...
       Richard smiled huge, thrilled to be with people and fans again.
       But the Captain waved his hands with a 'cut-off' sign and said, "No! No. Not Ringo!"
       Gordon yelled, "Huh?"
       Bewildered Dr. Finn asked, "It's not Ringo?"
       Kelly was speechless.
       Yaphit ended his happy bounces and expressed, "What?"
       Captain Ed quickly explained, "It's the real Ringo; he doesn't want to be called Ringo or Starr!"
       "Ah! For a second, dude..." Malloy said, shook a finger and grinned.
       Kelly asked, "What do we?"
       Starkey was cool. He answered, "Richard is fine, even Rick, I don't care. Lovely. Lovely, good people." Tears were in the Beatle's eyes.
       Gordon had a weird question, "But you're wearing a star, on your spacesuit, sir? You don't want us to..."? Malloy made the familiar Peace Sign with his hands as he'd seen Ringo do a million times in photos and films.
       Richard immediately lunged and grabbed the helmsman's hands with his hands. He effectively stopped the evil symbol of 2 fingers that pointed up. The Beatle tried to explain. "Good people. If you do care about me, please, no Peace Signs or Thumbs Up hand signs...please."
       Captain was startled: "No Thumbs Up? We do that all the time."
       "Oh, God," the musician wailed in slight agony. Rich stated very seriously and earnestly, like it was important. "Please. No Mano Cornuta..."
       "What?" Yaphit asked, bounced and shook.
       Rick said, "No Rock 'n Roll hand signs, please. Not even the OKAY-sign, if you wouldn't mind? You really don't know what you're doing with magic and shouldn't be..."
       Captain Mercer was amazed. He wondered: "Magical stars, huh? They were everywhere on Beatle albums and in your living room, Richard."  
       Mr. Starkey informed them with a sly, sad smile, "Hm. Most stars are bad. Some stars are good. I'll explain that later."
       The Captain remembered and interrupted. He declared, "He also knows nothing after 1966, so please ASK NOTHING about after '66...that's, that's an order, people."
       Dr. Finn asked, "Captain? Can you explain?"
       Ed said, "Oh, boy. How can I?"
       Richard, Rick, Ricky in the cool jumpsuit with 5-pointed star on chest, looked at the Captain, tilted his bearded face and smiled.
       "He was replaced by a double on Earth," Ed said.
       The group of fans collectively gasped.
       The gelatinous blob on the floor wondered, "Ringo was replaced?"

       Much later. Commander Grayson and Captain Mercer were "ga-ga" as they gave the ex-Beatle a grand tour of the Orville, when...
       Suddenly. Rick Starkey turned to Ed and said, "Aren't you forgetting someone?"
       Maybe the musician planted a thought in the Captain's mind that should have been there in the first place, if he only wasn't so PREOCCUPIED? Someone very important had been totally forgotten. But Ricky sensed the awful pain and only wanted to help a friend.
       Ed said, "Take over, Kel. I have a job to do." Mercer ran out of the room as fast as he could. He surprised many of the crew in the ship's halls as he streaked toward the brig. "No, no, no, no, no..."
       The Captain ordered the guard at the front door to let him in. He did so and Mercer was alone with prisoner Alara Kitan, behind a force-field wall.
       She composed herself in the Captain's presence. She'd cried for hours. They even forgot to feed the poor girl.
       "Alara. I am so sorry, dear. I was completely wrapped up in myself and what's going on here..."
       She sniffed. She said, "I know. I understand, sir."
       "That rat-bastard, Halsey. My father hated him for some good reason. A WAR, a goddamn war escalates between our people or the Union, whatever..."
       Kitan told him, sincerely: "You're under orders, sir. Your hands are tied. I understand, Captain."
       He decided. "No they're not. Break down the wall to the cell, Lieutenant."
       "What?" Alara was suddenly hopeful.
       "I gave you a direct order," the man said firmly. "You can't get through the electric wall, but the other walls pose no problem. Break it down!"
       "Huh? Oh." Head of Security obeyed. "Aya, aye, Captain!" The small Xelayan crashed into the solid side of the cell and it shattered in many pieces. She marched through the hole. "You could have turned the electric wall off, sir?"
       "I thought you'd feel better smashing something."
       Kitan glowed, extremely happy. "You're right."
       Both made their way to the bridge.
       He knew he did the right thing.

       [Archives freely available to Orville's crew and to those back on Earth were not complete, but they were partially complete with old movies, TV shows, plays, music, newsreels, science/history records, various educational files, written data, documentaries and every form of entertainment imaginable. But there were 'holes.' Much had not survived the changes over the long course of centuries. What survived was WAY TOO MUCH material! It would take a thousand lifetimes to go through its totality. This accounts for much of the past lost from records and conscious memories as well as other data preserved for millenniums].

       In a short time the big news of a BEATLE, a real one that lived and breathed onboard an insignificant Union starship, spread throughout the crew. In hours, they played Beatles music and were instantly mesmerized by the sounds. (Even Commander Bortus). It was as if the entire Orville itself transmuted into a giant party. Screw the rules, screw Big Brother and the dictates of a Union that tilted toward war when the catchy, colorful, beautiful, Beatles music in the air evoked Peace, Love and everything good and positive. Or did it?

       Soon. Civilized decorum prevailed, order restored, music and festivities halted, and...
       Ringo (Rick) gave a talk, still in his old self-cleaning suit of the 'future.' He shocked the large audience that sat in the auditorium part of the ship when he said, "Beatles didn't write their music." He confessed to dark forces behind ancient Earth Industries. The crowd knew to a degree what the musician related: Horrible institutions like the Monarchies and State agencies that set the planet ablaze with bogus wars [like '1984']. But the revelations and revolutions that spewed out of Starkey's mouth were absolutely inconceivable to the few hardcore fans that loved the music of the '60s British Invasion for decades. He explained, like masterworks of Shakespeare or Poe or Lewis Carroll or Tolkien, the music was created by committee, a panel of music geniuses with one special one at the very top of the sound and it wasn't John, Paul or George...or anyone anyone's heard of. The goal...was Mind Control, to mold a planet.
       Richard thought it was time to explain to his new friends and the whole crowd that Magic isn't all bad. Stars weren't all bad, not if they were right-side up and not upside-down. Spells can perform fabulous, wondrous, good, White Magic or spells can be evoked to raise the Devil himself and cause nothing but destruction. He told the crowd, "All depends on how you look at something and how you use something, eh? Polarities."

       Starkey further rocked the audience when he announced that around him was a "Wall of Light." He gave them a little demonstration of what the Good Side, White Light and good magic could do, if concentrated and utilized properly and positively. "Three wishes have been granted to one of you. One very special person has been among you that you really have not noticed; you have not made her feel comfortable. She's saved you and many more and will again in future." Ringo told them they'd find her at: "Transporter #13."    

When a curious group ran to individual Pad #13, they found a stunning sight! Alara Kitan was the one Ringo spoke of. It was her 3 wishes that were granted. Her first wish was to fit in among the crew and not be Xelayan anymore. First wish gave the good girl what she desired most: to be a human, like any native of Earth. And what an incredible transformation had occurred. The small girl was gorgeous. For the change to have happened, she gave up her super-strength. She was a woman in every way.
       Her friends gasped.

       In the Orville's large Lounge that always contained off-duty crewmen, round the work schedule...
       The usual gang met, relaxed and unwound after the day's events. This evening was different, to say the least.
       (Richard was in his quarters and used the computer).
       Groups, cliques, couples and friends gathered in the Lounge and many surrounded the humanized Alara. She was as mega-popular as the Beatle. Everyone was over traumas of the day and settled into feelings of joy. Everything vibrated with a cool, easy frequency. People were happy. 
       At one table sat Ed, Kelly and Gordon.
       Malloy was elated that: "You kept her on, Captain? Without the strength? Look how hot she is now. I mean, who'd ever make someone that HOT Head of Security?"
       "I would. Her record speaks for itself. Alara didn't hold that position because of her was because of her mind, unbelievable test scores," the Captain told his friend.
       Kelly Grayson beamed with pride and held her ex-husband's hand. "I'm proud of you, Ed." She blinked her bright eyes a few times and smiled at him.
       Gordon jumped up and wanted to also surround the new Alara like others and get a closer look. "Later, guys."
      When Gordon Malloy reached the "in" table where a perfect Head of Security shined, he heard Lt. LaMarr who commented:
       "...Shit. Just put a gun in her hand!" The almost all-male crowd laughed.
       So did Alara. She said, "Problem solved!" and snapped her fingers.
       Everyone laughed.
       Gordon had a question. "Alara. I have to ask: What were the other two wishes?"
       "Yeah. We don't know."
       She maintained a bright smile with luscious, red lips and said, "Well. I can't reveal the third, the most important of all. But, guys..." She whispered: "...About the other, let's just say that we might not have to endure, ah, hostile sparks from Cap and First Officer, anymore. Ha, ha."
       "Really?" Gordon was surprised.
       The group turned toward Captain's table, for the most part.
       At the Captain's table...
       Ed asked Kelly a trivia question, "Wait! Kel! All this time you were a bigger Star Wars fan than Trek? Even though Trek, prophetic TREK, oddly paralleled our situation?"
       "Sure. LOVE Star Wars...especially 8, Last Jedi."
       "I didn't know that! I love Wars, too! I could've sworn we argued...hey, hey, hey. Forget that. This is important, Kel. Seriously..."
       "Oh?" She snapped to attention, smiled and listened intently.
       "Your eyes are really beautiful," he said, off subject.
       "Ah. That's not what's important! Damn. This is..."
       "Huh?" First Officer and good friend heard her ex-husband, when he spoke from his heart...
       "I am so sorry, Kel. Everything that happened, that pushed you away...was completely my fault. I was so PREOCCUPIED with my career and in getting somewhere, I lost what was truly important. I'm very sorry..."
       First Officer suddenly kissed the Captain hard, flush on the lips and in front of everyone!
       The crowd around Alara's table opened their mouths at the bizarre sight and said nothing. They were in awe.
       Kitan smiled, glowed brighter and said, "There's magic."

       Light-years away...a secret, High Dark Council meeting was held between top Union officials and an arachnid-type giant more than 20 feet tall: a Yehcruy. The Great Financier behind the 'curtains' had a curious 'change of heart.' Union slush funds would not be covertly allotted for a war with pressure-packed Xelayan Supermen and Superwoman (phantom fear), which would later be expanded into a well-orchestrated, galactic World War. Rather: Union slush funds will be spent on businesses and enterprises in numerous systems that increased trade, prosperity and good relations between all Citizens so Union 'wheels' continued and turned, smoothly~  [Wish #3].

       Late at 'night,' during the same evening with all the unexpected commotion, shocks, troubles, worries, fears, music, light and pure LOVE...
       Richard simply materialized in the Captain's quarters just before Ed retired from a long day...
       "What do you mean, you're leaving? You can't go! There's a whole galaxy waiting to honor and love you and turn you on like, like, like you've done for us. Yer leavin'? How?"
       "The Wall of Light is a very, very long tube, my friend. It has all the knowledge in the world. Into the Light. You know, knowledge is power...and?"
       "And power must be used the right way, positively, yes?" The Captain finished the musician's thoughts.
       Ed asked with excitement in his voice: "OH! Did you hear later Beatles albums, Richard? Did you see the covers? Hear the lyrics? What amazing heights were hit, musically! And, and the old reports, what finally happened to your mates?"
       A happy "Ringo" changed to an unhappy one. Hours ago, he had heard the music of 'Sgt. Peppers' and the songs that came later, after his time on Earth, for the first time. He saw the albums and understood the hidden messages imbedded in them and knew what they really meant, exactly. IT JOGGED HIS MEMORY. He remembered why he was duplicated, why his mind was wiped and why he was shot off into space and isolated.
       "Breaks m'heart, Ed. Now that I remember, now that I remember any rate. I thank you for everything. You've all been so kind to me, Captain. Cheers. Say goodbye to Gordon, Kelly, the Doctor and the Blob for me. You're great...but I can't tell the truth whomever is still interested. Maybe everything shouldn't be known by everyone? Yes, indeed. Nothing is real and we have to...Let it Be." He smiled at the Captain a final time.
       Then the ex-Beatle disappeared...
       "I had one question about..."

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