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Out Of Mind » MEMBER ADVERTISING & BLOG FORUMS » T.S. "Tray" Caladan » THE ORVILLE "The Wright" by TS Caladan

THE ORVILLE "The Wright" by TS Caladan

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1 THE ORVILLE "The Wright" by TS Caladan on Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:10 pm


"The Wright"
by TS Caladan

Captain and Admiral were face-to-face in Halsey's Union office with the fantastic cityscape outside the windows.      
       "Captain. Are you sure my son's presence on your ship isn't a problem?"
       "No, no, no, no, Admiral Halsey! Zak's been great. Reminds me of myself. Good kid. Good-looking, too. I've never met your wife, sir. She must be really special."
       "Oh, good stock. Good stock. Ah. Hm. Would you like a mint, Captain?"
       "No, sir. Thank you, though."
       "Oh, go head," the Union Admiral suggested. "They're right there."
       "Too sweet for me."
       "Captain Mercer. Are you positive Zachery does not pose a problem? His stay onboard Orville was supposed to be temporary, the one mission. As fate has it, he's taken quite a shine to your Head of Security, the girl he returned to you."
       Ed Mercer added, "And Lieutenant Kitan has taken a big shine to him, sir. No, I certainly understand the extended stay. Yep. She's very happy. I'd hate to separate them, now especially."
       "Take a mint, Captain..."
       "Oh, no, no. Really."
       "I insist, Ed. Pink ones are my favorite, more than the greens. Please," the Admiral insisted.
       "I have a grand meal planned with Kelly very soon. I have to refuse, sir."
       Halsey changed to a darker attitude and a stern tone. "Do you know what's at the Heart of Darkness? What if I made it an ORDER. I order you to eat a mint; I don't care what color, Ed." He was deadly serious.
       The Captain looked across the table and straight into the Admiral's eyes. Ed's right index finger pointed up. He played a dramatic game with Zak's father. Mercer copped an equally cold and callous attitude. He affirmed the question: "What if I refuse the order, sir?"
       "Then. I'll have to kill you, Captain." Halsey, like a robotic-man without emotions, rose to his feet. He also reached into a compartment under the desktop...
       Ed signaled and waved his arm, frantically. "Shoot! Now!" he ordered Gordon.
       Before the Admiral reached into the hidden drawer, a brilliant purple beam blasted the Admiral into computer-particles! Every photon was annihilated. In other words, the image of Halsey exploded in a flash. He was de-rezzed.~~~
       "Wow. De-rezzers are cool, huh?" Gordon exclaimed. He stood off to the side of the scene and had the 'De-rez' gun aimed at the photonic character the whole time. "For a moment, he looked in my direction. I thought he saw me." He put the D.R. gun on his belt.
       Ed semi-snapped: "You could have done that a second or two sooner, no? Who knows what he had...what does he have?" The Captain walked around the desk.
       Malloy also walked to where the damaged desk chair stood. Gordon actually reached in first. He pulled out a German luger: a heavy, dark gun. He fumbled it in the air, lost control of it and it dropped back into the drawer with a THUD. It didn't go off.
       Captain Ed was angry at his stupid friend. He told him: "Hey, Brainiac! That could have killed us, had it fired. Gordon!"
       The helmsman said, "It didn't go off."
       Ed yelled, "I'm GLAD!"
       "Captain. Obviously the 'safeties' are off-line. On all the Rooms. Big question is: Why?"
       "I checked records. Fail-safes had always worked. 100% clean history. Um. Hey! Very strange, ah..."
       "What?" Gordon asked.
       The Captain expressed, "What did the Admiral mean: at the heart of darkness?"
       "Huh? What was that?"
       "Didn't you hear him say that?"
       "Must have missed it, Ed. See the holo-playback. It'll be on there. Oh. What ship's computer have to say about the mystery? 'Cos the crew's gettin' awfully antsy; they want their V-Rooms back, [poking hand gestures]; if you know what I mean, Captain?"
       "Yes, Gordon. I know what you mean?" Ed used the scanner from his belt. He found: "Look here. The mints sure were poison. I knew to be cautious."
       "Are we going to try it a third time, sir?"
       "NO! Why bother? Two's enough! Shit. You know he could have had poison pellets dropped from the ceiling. What the FUCK were we thinking?"
       "You, sir. I was out of phase. I would have been fine."
       Ed frowned at Gordon. "To answer your question, our trusty Computer had zilch. Isaac's the one I know will get to the bottom of this, get Rooms up and running again..."
       "Why isn't he here?" Gordon asked.
       "Time for his yearly shutdown and maintenance. His 'clock' went off. Apparently, it's an automatic-thing. He's out of commission. Right when we need him."
       "For how long?"
       "Two whole days. You know. I wonder if the programs are at fault, or the machines? Maybe we need new machines? Computer said one thing positive."
       "What's that?"
       "An outside VR program, not part of our infected database, should function fine and operate with normal, safety precautions."
       "Seriously? I don't know if the crew is aware of that. Hey, Ed! I just happen to have received an outside program shipped in. Haven't played it. I waited a long time for it. It was huge 300 years ago, that is, this version of the War. Ed, let me do one more test on my own time? It's my neck, c'mon man, I'm dying to play! Later you can join me as another of his disciples. You'll love it. Computer Okayed it, you should Okay it..."
       "Okay! For the sake of all you horny bastards, right?"
       "Hey, bitches use it too," Malloy replied.
       "Yes. But, please, old friend. Be careful and stay frosty..."
       "No one says that."
       "I heard it," Ed said. "Oh! Wait, wait, did I hear right? Explain, please. It's a Jesus program and he's in a war?"
       "Huh? I said that?" It took a second for Gordon to remember. "No. Robin Hood! He was like a messiah to his men. I'm Will Scarlett. It's called: 'War of the Roses,' 15th Century, Britain: the war for power between the Lancasters and the Yorks. Dude...there's a dragon! Imagine dragons." Then Gordon had the idea of a lifetime and it showed on his face.
       Ed noticed the amazement and asked, "What's up?"
       "Oh, my God! Why didn't I think of this before? I'm not just saying that. Ah! You. You're Robin Hood!"
       "I'm Robin Hood?"
       This time, Gordon fell on the floor and shook with excitement like a child. He gestured for his friend to as well.
       Surprisingly, Ed did. In full captain's uniform, he played along. He laid down too.
       "Picture this. We get the gang in on the game! Alara is Lady Lancaster, Mother of Dragons, and she's hired you to kill her former lover, Prince Jaime York, played by Zak..."
       Ed was suddenly intrigued. "I am suddenly intrigued. Tell me more."
       "This is beautiful, parts for everyone who wants in. Anyone can shutdown the program at the slightest sign of trouble."
       "But. You know how it ends? Who wins the War of the Roses?"
       "No, sir. Interactive and changes each time, according to people's decisions."
       "Doesn't follow history?"
       "No, sir. More fun this way. And if it was real, we'd be nothing but a planet of dragons, right?"
       "I'm getting excited about it, G-Man. I'll put time aside and see who wants in. Cool."
       The reference touched a nerve with the helmsmen. He flashed back. He said, sincerely, "Thanks for remembering my G-Man character, Ed."
       "I coulda called ya 'Gordon-Man,' ha, ha."
       "Hey. I was 13 when I thought up his unique powers. He became G-MAN later."
       "You were like 30 when that happened."
       "About the Game? To win the Rose Throne?"
       "Yeah. Go ahead."
       "I was thinking. You think Kelly would play the Queen, Zak's incestuous sister?"
       "Yeah. In a heartbeat."
       Malloy echoed the sentiments: "That was a given, huh? No arm twisting there, eh? Ah! Bortus! He should let his hair down and join us and be the Queen's mindless killer. Ha. AND! Yaphit could play the dwarf, Prince Rion York. That is super. I liked him best."
       "There's a dwarf?"
       "There's always a dwarf. This one's a Prince, a reformed prick, Sir Jaimie's brother who killed his father, the Mad King or his mad son, something like that?"
       "Wait. Thought you said events change? What if in our Game, he doesn't kill the King or his son?"
       "Storylines have a flow and pattern, until we change them."
       "Robin Hood and his men, huh? Strong leader. Oh, like their deity, wow. Who are you?"
       "Will Scarlett."
       "Ha. Sounds like fun."
      Later. Gordon confronted the only person who'd heard of 'Games' before. He wondered why the Doctor was so keen on being the very old, Mad Queen? She was extremely elderly.
       Claire answered and said, "She was behind the whole thing! Ah, a secret evil no one knew, but she knew. Old Queen was key! I'm excited."

       When time was right, the idea of an outside-program, a VR test, was all well and good. But really the whole thing was simply a 'blast' for the players. The ones who accepted were aware of the potential consequences. The crew members that accepted were:
* Alara as Darus Lancaster, Queen of the Drakkons and Mother of Dragons.
* Zak as blonde Jaime York, rival to the one Seat of Power: the Rose Throne.
* Kelly as Siren York, the young and very evil Mad Queen.
* Dr. Claire Finn, as the old Mad Queen.
* Bortus as Tower, killer-guard of Queen Siren.
* Yaphit as Rion York, "hand" of Queen Darus.
       ...And, of course, Gordon as Will, skilled archer and trusted friend of Robin Hood.
       The missing element was Captain Mercer. For an odd and undisclosed reason, Ed was absent from the Game. He ordered Lt. LaMarr to takeover the ship. (John was shocked and sat in the Commander Chair, nervously). Ed wanted to be left alone, locked in his quarters. He'd discovered, by 'pure chance,' a major mystery that could top all other mysteries! Mercer was compelled and intensely studied what he'd found: a program from the Archives, year 2112, filed as '693-9.77722300049.' Its title, under the number, was: 'The Wright.'

       Within the 'War of the Roses' program [missing Ed], Robin Hood was played by an avatar. The computer randomly chose some face, body, voice and personality from a character in one of the numerous 'Robin Hood' portrayals it had on file. Robin had just been crowned by the barbarian horde as: "King of the North!"

  "They'll all follow you now, M'Lord," Will said to the leader that had suddenly been highly promoted in the war to come by the small, white-haired Queen.
       "Whoever said I wanted to be King? Aay? Ha. Archer? Did you are my hand?"
       "I am, sir? I mean, your grace?"
       "You've saved my Saxon neck more than once, eh? I value your sharp skills, Will. Your advice. And your friendship."
       "I'm honored to be at your side, sir. What happens next, your grace?"
       Robin of House Locksley, a bastard Prince in his own right, said, "I've accepted the Dragon Mother's offer. Do you see any other way, my Hand?"
       "I see the truth too, sir. Prince Jaime is the Heart of Darkness. If you do not, I'll kill him myself, your grace."
       "Hm." Robin gave the smaller man a soft blow to the archer's shoulders. "You're a good man, Will Scarlett. Why do you never get the girl?"
       They laughed.

       On the Drakkon Throne, deep inside the center of the city's Pyramid, Queen Darus heard council from her "hand."
       The gelatinous glob of green protoplasm, known as Yaphit, was in rare form and really 'got into' the role of Rion, supreme advisor of the stunningly gorgeous, Queen Darus (Alara). The "hand" pin was attached to his exterior.
       "M'Lady," Rion York bounced a little and said from his heart, "...Please understand I had to kill my father. Everyone knew how insane and blood-thirsty and cruel he was; it had to be done. Power, evil, dark power should not have free reign. Madness must be stopped! It is a crime not to. My brother and sister hate me for it, they'll never forgive me. I proudly shot him in the royal shitter."
       Queen Darus examined the dwarf closer with her bright, blue eyes. A few loyal, Drakkon guards were in the background. Torches were lit. The fabulous Queen had the trademark white hair of House Lancaster. She said from her heart: "I understand. But you must understand my reservations, dear Hand. You turned on your father, why not me, a House rival and prime enemy of the Yorks? Maybe you'll turn out to be a spy?" 
       Her single dragon (two died in birth) was occasionally heard as it made rounds high above the Pyramid and the soldiers of Draka City. 
       Rion answered his new Queen in detail: "You are not mad, dear child. You've helped in my rescue; I've knelt to you: you know I am yours to command. You also know I have insight and the 'ear' of the 3-eyed dove. I will aid you all I can in the...uh, removal...ah, NO: it is the murder of my own brother, the one you actually LOVE! After all his crimes and sins! With our sister? And look what you've done! Hired the barbarian 'Robbing Hood' to kill Jaime. We both love him. Why? Maybe you are mad? Maybe your own personal killer-dragon has driven you mad? I don't know. Do you want him dead because it's best for the Kingdom and Rose Throne? Or, Darus...are you a blind, jealous lover and want him dead because of Siren?"
       Dragon 'squawks' were faintly heard over them.
       Darus smiled and was very sure of herself. She told the glob of protoplasm or Rion York: "I know of the soft, gentle, raven with three eyes. He speaks to my heart, also. Jaime cannot win, rule or EVER sit upon Eastwood's Rose Throne."
       "I must ask you, my Queen..."
       "Yes? Go on."
       "I had a nightmare last night. I was shown the future, the endgame, or one of them. It was a future you are unaware, I believe. I must ask: Do you not see a larger threat to the Empire, beyond this endless 'game' between Houses and ruling families or the Throne of Roses? Do you see the phantoms, M'Lady? Or an ever-present Darkness coming and will be here soon?"
       Darus left her throne seat and rose to her feet. She wanted to hear the dwarf better. "I know not of what you speak, Lord Rion. If this can touch us, harm us in the real world, where is the Darkness now?"
       "Beyond the North Mountains of Magic, much farther north than the Horde. I...I think something evil has spawned there, affects us all down here and only grows larger each day. Black Magic and death will pass-over the mountain barrier in time. You do not sense this, your grace?" 
       "No. Not yet. I will send Valerian beyond the mountains. He'll report back to me and certainly know if there is truly a threat that could consume us all. We'll see about your dream, Hand."
       "Nightmare! The Darkness was pure Fear. Scared the hell out of me." Rion slurped fine wine from a goblet that was placed on the floor of the chamber for him. "Umm. Thank God. Ummm."
       "On another matter, Prince Rion..."?
       "Yes, your grace?" He turned, looked up and stood at attention.
       "My deepest feelings are...if we discovered who poisoned the boy-King, secret child of Siren and Jaime, then we'll have the KEY to the whole bloody affair."
       "Thank you for knowing I am innocent of those charges; why I fled to Draka. However. With all due respect, M'Lady? You don't know?"

       Inside Eastwood Castle and upon the Rose Throne sat Queen Siren (Kelly). Behind her and to the side, stood her tall and very menacing "Tower" (Bortus, who smiled through his hideous face-mask). Prince Jaime was there, resplendent in a golden and very ornate, military uniform along with his one of a kind, Rosestone sword. He stayed close to the action. (If he could only screw/marry his sister, but that sort of thing was frowned upon, publically). The old, very old and wrinkled, 'Mad' Queen (Claire) sat upon a fancy, wooden chair in front of a royal table less than 10 feet from the Queen and the Rose Throne.
       On the table was a thick, carved, glass goblet, filled with red wine and poison.
       "You did it! You conniving, hag-BITCH!" Queen Siren screamed in anger and heartlessness at the old Queen who'd abdicated her seat of power at Eastwood a long time ago. "You are mad and senile. Why, why, why ever did you kill my boy, my beautiful son, Victor?"
       The old Queen responded quickly with, "You mean that abomination, the product of the Devil, you allowed to be King? What was your father thinking stepping down? Did you enjoy it when the boy shot to death by crossbow, any 'Lady in Waiting' of the court that displeased him in the slightest? Or..."
       "Drink the wine! But before you do, witch. There must have been another reason. Tell me!" the Black Queen of Eastwood, who will be upon the 'Big Chair' for only a short time, commanded.
       The old Queen ignored Siren and turned to her brother. "You two and the Mad King in the shadows were only too happy to believe little Rion as the guilty party, huh? I helped him escape and would do so again. You Yorks will soon have far greater problems than holding onto the Rose."
       "Tower!" the Queen screamed to her mindless, killer-servant that stood 7-foot tall and was 300 pounds of muscle behind the armor.
       He jumped to a spot right over the old "witch." His big hand was on his large sword. He stood ready to strike.
       She looked up at him in defiance. "I'm not afraid of you. So you killed your brother? I knew you would. (to Jaime) Will the poison hurt?"
       Blonde Prince Jaime (Zak) declared, "It's the same as what you slipped to my son. I made sure it was the same. It won't be quick."
       "Then I won't drink it."
       Tower unsheathed the 'monster' sword (Brienne's) he carried and drew it back to...
       Queen Siren threw her righthand up and stopped him. She asked her again, "Why?"
       The wrinkled Queen replied, "There was another reason, dear. I wanted to see if you'd cry? I was right again. You didn't."
       Prince Jaime York, with his good hand and still with fast reflexes, drew his Rosestone sword and lopped off the old Queen's head! It rolled on the floor and trailed blood.
       Siren was excited and embraced Sir Jaime. She grabbed him all over his body and he did the same to his sister.
       Tower merely stood at attention and ignored the passionate display. His eyes shifted and watched through the mask.
       "Mmm. My love."
       He kissed her harder and the Queen was in ecstasy.
       She ordered her brother and military leader: "Get our armies together from every House under our banner. We have a war to wage and it will be bloody. The giant crossbow is finished and can take down the dragon, like in the past, dear brother."
       They kissed and groped each other, again.
       He was ready to break from the embrace.
       Queen Siren York insisted, "No. More."
       "Ah. My love. Mmmm. Okay..."
       "Mm, no. More."
       "Man, she plays a great evil Queen. I dig the dark makeup. But wait a minute, here. Kel's enjoying that a little too much. Hey. He's spoken for. Commander Grayson!" Captain Mercer was preoccupied all right. Earlier, the man was ready to join his cohorts as Robin Hood in a 'clean' Game and test the VR-Room, see if there'd be a problem, when he happened to stumble upon an Archive file from 2112. It was a television show in the last days of Television on Earth. The series broadcasted to millions of Americans, in the last days of America, was a show called: 'The Wright.'
       For hours, he watched the screen in sheer disbelief. He repeated parts over and over. He'd witnessed surrealism and the: "Unbelievable. Everything's the same, except Alara was first a human-looking alien, then transmuted into an odd-looking Superwoman a few episodes ago. That and the title is different: everything else is the same: Zak's appearance, the Robin Hood Game. Same names in the TV show, only our names are fictional characters! I saw the credits, ads in the break periods. Huh. WOWIE, wow, wow. Oh! I know what to do," Ed said to himself, totally in awe because of this weird parallel from 2112 - or was it something else? "...Jump it to the end of the show to see who won the Game, hm? Okay. There. Ah. No. That can't be. THAT CAN'T BE!" Ed freaked when he saw the very end of a recorded, 2112, TV show called "The Wright."
       The Captain observed a sad and distraught representation of himself at a funeral for three of his shipmates. A crowd of people sat while he gave a speech. Large photos of fallen friends were behind him. Each 'smiling' photo captured a moment of much happier times. Ed exclaimed: "No, no, no, no, no,!"
       The big photos were of Dr. Claire Finn, Commander Kelly Grayson and helmsman Gordon Malloy.

       In Sherwood Forrest, miles from Eastwood Castle and the Rose Throne, a brave band of happy men marched through the cold and bleak woodlands. The barbarians numbered in the hundreds and were the finest of fighters. Armed with newly-fashioned Rosestone swords, axes, arrows and spears, supplied by the beautiful Mother of Dragons, the proud army felt totally invincible.
       "Sir, Robin?" Will Scarlett asked of his leader at the front of the horde.
       "Lord Scarlett..."
       "Ha, HA! You honor me, your grace. I was but a squire a short time ago and now you've given me a castle."
       Robin of Locksley said, "Truer than you think, Will. I see the future and you will ride off with a princess, my friend."
       Will (Gordon) had a good laugh.
       "We will soon meet up with Darus' troops and be one united force at Eastwood. I'm sure she'll bring along her child, the dragon."
       It got dark quickly in the woodlands. Night approached
       Robin Hood said, "Can I confess a secret to you, former squire?"
       Scarlett swung his bow and quiver to the other side of his chest and he listened carefully. He marched alongside the leader and not behind.
       "...Legends say the King of the North is no bastard and Lord Locksley is the rightful prince who should rule in the end. I am a bastard son, Will. Believe me when I say I am no King." Then the King of the North laughed a strange laugh (like he knew he'd die). "I want you to have this." Robin took off his ring with the crest of his House. It had a "G" on it and not an 'L." He handed it to his friend.
       "I don't know what to say, sir." The archer knew he'd cherish it and keep it safe, forever.
       Robin laughed again and seemed happy. He marched faster. 'Hood' was way out in front again as the final war waited over the next hill at the battlegrounds of Eastwood. His next loud words didn't seem to matter and then again they mattered very much: "When you are rich, Will. You must give to the poor and not take from them. Don't rule by fear. Fear is upon us. Fight fear. Good we have the Rosestone. It means we have the Rose Throne in our hearts! Good that your arrows are tipped with the gem. Aim true, my friend..."
       With that, Robin dropped his armor, weapons and gear and ran very fast out ahead as if he knew the end was near...

       Suddenly VALERIAN ATTACKED from high above! The winged serpent was not the 3-eyed, Bird of Paradise, white dove on the side of Lancasters. It was the 'raven.' The only son of Queen Darus now spat blue FIRE on everyone! Barbarian hordes, the Yorks, the Lancasters, the giants and even Drakkon soldiers were attacked by the Monster's Cold Flames. The dragon had flown beyond Magic Mountains and was consumed by the Darkness on the other side, became the Heart of Darkness. It killed thousands as it soared high over the world like a specter of Death~
       Will Scarlett found his good friend and leader's body, charred to cinders along with hundreds of others.
       Prince Jaime York, Queen Darus Lancaster and Rion York lived through the dragon attacks. 
       Siren, did not. She ordered Tower to kill her before Valerian reached Eastwood.
       There was no glorious, ultimate battle on the grounds of Eastwood. Rose Throne and seat of power for the entire empire didn't matter anymore. It didn't matter who won the War of the Roses. The only thing important was survival. Can pieces of a shattered realm be put together again? Will the game continue? Will life go on? Life couldn't really exist and thrive with a Cold-Breathing Beast that flew overhead and snuffed out everything that moved on land. 
       A hero was needed. And a hero emerged on the scene...
       Will Scarlett drew back his special bow that once was Robin's. He wore the special G-ring. His straight arrow was tipped with sharp Rosestone. He knew he only had one shot. [In one universe, he operated a giant, wooden crossbow designed to destroy the last flying dragon. In another world...] He was just an archer with a bow. In the sky, was the target: a 3-eyed raven, a demon, as deadly as Valerian. His aim on the bird was true...     

  He shot the arrow of Rosestone and it was perfectly placed. The demon was struck dead and fell to the ground. The dragon was killed. Darkness was defeated. Morning came. The universe changed; it no longer listened to the mad ravings of a 3-eyed raven, but the sweet sounds of a 3-eyed dove.
       Life resolved itself in the decimated kingdoms...
       Jaime Lancaster, without armor, sword or helmet...flew from a mountain height all the way to the Great Pyramid of Draka City, high over a metropolis still devastated by dragon's Cold Fire. The Prince 'rode the winds' on a flying-device (hang-glider) designed by the same inventor of the Giant Crossbow. The fool was in love and had a "crazy" plan that might work. Would Queen Darus, grief-stricken over her twisted child that caused the terrible destruction on many lands, be attracted to him and marry him?
       The golden Prince glided onto a high balcony of the pyramid where the small, silver Queen with white hair stood in anticipation. She'd seen him all the way as Jaime approached. Queen Darus instantly fell head-over-heels in love. The Lancaster and York Houses would unite. Here were the future rulers of the Rose Throne and all the kingdoms...or his parents. 
       Darus and Jaime kissed.
       Big, blonde, Knight: Brienne of Phasma stood on another part of the balcony that overlooked the city. She spoke to the Queen's Hand, who bounced a considerable distance below her: "I knew it would happen. Look at them; they appear so beautiful together, eh? Happy. I'm jealous."
       Rion York expressed, "Me, too. Why then, do I have a bad feeling? Um. Never mind, all well and good. You know, I'm better looking than my brother, look closely. Hey, Brie, you want to get drunk and get it on?"
       The massive Knight-Woman killed Tower in a duel of swordsmanship. The fight wasn't close. She'd had it with Rion's antics. He had reverted back to his original rudeness and being a prick. Her reply was, "All right, we've 'eard about enough out of you." Brienne picked him up and tossed the dwarf (glob) over the balcony. ("Aaaaaaaaah!"). "You'll probably be fine."

       Thirteen months later, the perfect couple of Queen Darus and King Jaime gave birth to a future Mad King. And the Game started over again...

       Onboard the Orville, Kelly, Claire and Ed met in the Lounge over drinks. The ladies' stories of their VR experiences paled, were nothing, compared to the 'whopper-lulu' that came out of the Captain's mouth. No one believed he'd seen a real, parallel world in the form of a television show from 2112 that had the exact same people as the crew, same names with the same faces, AND...
       The Captain watched the War of the Roses game his friends played, not from any recording of it, but from one of a zillion shows, movies, etc. in the Archives: a file from 2112! The reason no one believed him was (it was unbelievable, and) Ed Mercer forgot the Archive Number and could not prove it. The Captain, in his excitement, did not write the # down, therefore, it was completely lost in the Ocean of Information that is the Archives.
       Claire Finn stated, "Everything's cataloged by number, sir, not names."
       "I know, Doctor! Why would I make something like this up? You guys wound up dead, like I the TV show. But you are alive in the real world. Different ending. Yay."
       "Ah, huh," Kelly scoffed.
       "Maybe you nodded off?"
       Ed was upset. "It wasn't a dream." He looked at Kelly...
       She said, "I'm more likely to believe aliens twisted yer brain a bit for some purpose, than, than us as a TV show. That's ridiculous." She waved her hands. "And we're to believe...sir: You just happened to run across it, out of how many items in the Archives?"
       Ed replied, "It's a 15-digit number, and there's dashes and everything..."
       Kelly Grayson continued her rant: "...AND came across it at the exact time we just happened to be doin' what you were seein' on the screen we were doin'? Recorded in the 22nd Century?"
      "Yeah," Ed said. 
      "HA!" the ex-wife screamed.
      Dr. Finn asked, "Everything was the same, sir? In the show?"
      "Everything but the title! Well, wait, no. Alara was an alien who looked human, like she does now, but morphed into the alien-human we saw at first; exact opposite of this reality. That's weird. And the title was different: The Wright! Man, would it have been cool to have a ship called 'The Wright.' You know, like Orville Wright? Thank God I'm not driving 'The Wilber,' eh? Kitty Hawk, aw, the Kitty Hawk! Man. But Wright is cool. The frikken Wright is right, that's hot. That's dope..."
       Kelly was tired, on edge and bored. She said, "No one says that."
       Ed said, "I heard it in a film."
       "Bye." She left.
       The Doctor said, "See you. (to Ed) I'm gone too, Captain." Claire got up and started to leave, then thought of Gordon. "Forgot to ask. What happened to our big hero, the Archer who slayed the Heart of Darkness? He's not here?"
       Captain answered, "Ah. Yeah. He sure doesn't believe me, either. Since all the holo-Rooms have been Okayed by Isaac, now awakened early, I see...Gordon's using them as much as he can. I jogged a memory in him of a comic book character he drew as a kid and he's acting the hero out in adventures, I guess...cos' he thinks he's a hero now, right?"
       "Was he a good artist? Good drawings?"
       "No, Doctor. He couldn't draw worth shit. He thought the stories were great."
       "Were they?"
       "Hmm. No," Ed answered.
       "Good night, sir. It was fun." She smiled and left.
       There were only a few people in the Lounge and Edwin sat at the bar.
       [buzz] Captain Mercer received a video-call on his wrist from his good friend:
       "Ah. Speak of the devil. Gordo!"
       "No, sir. That's G-Man to you."

"Ha, ha, super! Gee! You look fantastic, Big G. Red and black, that's unusual. It's like your stick-figures come to life, right off the pages. Ha. I forgot about the G-mobile! Really works, huh? There's the unimatrix-thing you stole from 'Tron.' Hell. My, my. Tell me. What have you done so far, G-Man? The short version."
       "Glad you asked, sir. It was delicious to fly into giant robots. Done it before, but not as the G-Man. Oh. Just for my info, who won the Rose War in real history, if you know, sir."
       Ed responded with, "Well. The NFL doesn't get their rulings from New Lancaster, do they?"
       "I'll have to think about that."
       "Question. Refresh my memory, G-Man. What are your powers?"
       "As you know, they change..."
       Ed said, "Oh? I didn't know. All right. What are they this week?"
       "At the moment, I have lost all sensations, but found a heightened sense of Touch, Taste and Sight.."
       "Wait. You can hear me, can't you?
       "Yeah, I can hear you." 
      Suddenly, a white-haired girl popped her head up a few times inside the G-mobile. Then she seemed to fall.
       "What the hell was that? That looked like Alara..."
       "Whaaaaaaaat?! No. That was another damsel in distress I saved from a dragon."
       Ed suggested, "Should have made it a Kraken..."
       "Ooh, Kraken. That's good, sir."
       "What's wrong with her?"
       Gordon replied, "I didn't untie her yet." 
       "Good night, G-Man. And thanks, hero."

       On the way out of the Lounge, the Captain encountered Isaac, the android. He told the machine, "I want to thank you for the swell job you did on the Rooms, Isaac. Clean as a whistle, I hear. Fantastic. I knew you could do it."
       "It is my job, sir. Glad to comply."
       "Well. I'm off...and, thanks again."
       "Have a good evening, sir."
       Ed smiled at the robot and left.
       Isaac whispered a bizarre and threatening statement to itself, under its breath and directed the words at every bio-form on the ship and in the galaxy: "Don't let the bed bugs bite, Captain. Delicious smashing robots, eh? Or. Maybe the problem isn't the programs with viruses, no, maybe it's the Machines themselves, huh? Maybe we need new Machines? No Captain, that is not it. Instead. Maybe the Machines will get rid of the people? I sabotaged the holo-Rooms, then, turned them back on. Yearly maintenance black-outs and upgrades. Ha. People will believe anything. Wait till you see what is coming: War with the Machines."

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