"Turbulence in the spatial balance, Captain." Data reports in that overly-scientific jargon of his.
"What does that mean in English, Data?" I ask him, "Even the Universal Translator can't get around that one."
"There is a rift between this dimension and another coming up, sir." he clarifies.
I think it might be wise to turn 180 degrees round and go at Warp Nine in the opposite direction. We have enough trouble with rifts . Why do they always turn up where we go? Can't they appear about an hour after we have left or something like that.
"We could send a probe to check it out, Captain." chips in Riker. I reluctantly agree, although the action will keep us around here.
"All right, Number One." I sigh, "Send it quickly, so we can get out of here."
"We are explorers, Captain." Deanna says calmly, "Who knows what we might find?"
"That's true." I reply, but we don't want to be dead explorers."
Shortly the probe is sent, and the results come back. Data reads out the details.
"The signature of the universe show that it is identical to that of Lieutenant Commander T'Pol" he informs us.
"So it's the home of the notorious Terran Empire." Riker exclaims, "The Federation have had so much trouble in previous crossovers."
"That is true, Number One." I say, "Don't let T'Pol know of this opening or she will..."
"Too late!" I hear a voice from behind.
I groan. It looks like T'Pol has been listening, and has heard everything that has been going on. She should have the post of Official Eavesdropper for the ship.
"I demand to be able to go to my own universe!" she barks, "It is my natural home and you are keeping me here against my will."
"It's too dangerous, T'Pol." I warn her, "The Federation has visited the Terran Empire, and it's a very violent place. If you go in there, the rift may close up, and you would be unable to get back."
"I would not wish to come back!" she shouts, "Let me go!"
There don't seem to be any winners here, like a fixed roulette table. Reluctantly, I have to get Security to confine her to quarters.
"Perhaps we should let her go." advises Deanna.
"I thought of doing it." I reply, "But she is over two hundred years out of her time. What would be their reaction to her? They may see her as an escaped criminal. I'm trying to protect her."
Sensors inform us a shuttlecraft has left; at the same time I hear that T'Pol managed to knock the guards unconsious and escaped in the small ship with another woman.
No prizes for guessing who that other woman is. That Deltan, Ensign Britney is always trouble. Why can't we get better guards? They are as bad as those redshirts that Kirk used to have.
I get a transmission from the shuttlecraft.
"Don't try to follow us, Captain!" T'Pol calls out, "Britney and I are escaping to a better life in the Terran Empire."
"Yeah." adds Ensign Britney, while getting out some more chewing gum, "I figured that I go where my sistah goes. After all, all I do is stay in the brig on the Enterprise. It's gonna be a blast in the Terran Empire!"
With that, the transmission is cut, and the small ship disappears into the rift, vanishing from sight in a flash of light.
"What do we do now?" Riker asks, "Do we follow them?"
"No, Number One." I answer, "I did everything I could to stop them. They must see for themselves what life is really like in the Terran Empire. I think they will find it is not as welcoming as they imagine. We'll stop a distance away from the rift for a while. Once it closes, though, they will be trapped for good."
To be continued...
Across The Universe Day 4th February
NASA is beaming The Beatles' 'Across The Universe' to the Star Polaris 431 light years away. "NASA has invited people around the world to play “Across the Universe” on their audio systems at the same time NASA beams its mp3 version into outer space. The idea was hatched by Beatles’ historian Martin Lewis, who encourages all Beatles fans to play the track as it is being beamed to the distant star. Additionally, this date will be known as “Across the Universe Day”. The event marks the first time a radio song has been beamed into deep space."
Go to here for more details on how to play two versions. Thank you Nina for telling me. You are all invited to join in!