Breakfast and Micro Time Gates

“Ransom?” said the disembodied voice of Holly.
Ransom sat at a desk littered with pieces of broken, stolen, and borrowed computing and machine parts, his head in his hands. Piles of crumpled paper formed a small hill range at his feet and several pencils were worn down to tiny sizes. Tools of all sorts were packed higility-pigility into a box that had been taken from one of Jamie’s stores. A wastepaper bin was overflowing with burnout, shattered, failed and useless hunks of his previous attempts to remake his dimension drive.
“This time,” he muttered to himself under his breath, “It has to work this time.”
“Ransom?” Holly said again, his words falling on ignoring ears.
He dropped his hands from his face and they rested on an egg whisk that was adorned with wires, lasers and computer boards. He attached the whisk to its motorised mountings and aimed it at the wall. After a silent prayer to a deity he didn’t believe in, he flicked on the motor, the whisk starting to spin violently. It looked promising, the speed picked up and a bright white beam began to form at the base of the whisk.
“Yes!” cried Ransom pre-emptively. His joy was short lived and the beam began to fade and the whisk fizzed with sparks and spat out parts of its workings. Ransom grabbed his multi-tool and desperately tried to repair the device but it was too late and the experiment exploded in a puff of smoke. With a great annoyed cry, Ransom scooped the egg whisk up and hurled it at the bin, the machine colliding with the wall and splintering into a dozen parts.
Ransom collapsed with a sigh in his chair, pulling out top most page of his notepad, it covered with calculations and sums, and screwed it into a ball, joining it with the others on the floor.
“Having trouble?” asked a voice from behind him.
Ransom reluctantly turned and saw Jamie and Phil walking into the room, each of them carrying a breakfast each, Jamie having a spare tucked under his arm. Phil let out a burp of foul smelling lager as he sat next to Ransom, clearing a place for his less than healthy breakfast (which consisted of a curry… of some description and a lager printed with the Space Corps. logo). Jamie took a seat on the other side of Ransom, clearing a similar space and sitting the two white plastic cartons of food in front of himself and Ransom.
“Thanks,” Ransom mumbled as he opened up the container and allowed the steam to billow from its confines.
“Don’t mention it,” Jamie said with a smile.
“Ransom?” said Holly again, “If you aren’t going to share that food you could at least listen.”
“Sorry,” said Ransom as he picked up the white plastic fork and took a mounted heap of the rice, “What is it?”
“Cass is looking for you. All three of you.”
“Isn’t that nice,” Ransom muttered as he plunged the fork into his mouth, Brett’s surprisingly good cooking filling his dried and empty mouth.
“It’s to do with the micro time gates.”
“Micro time gates?” asked Phil through a mouthful of food, some of it flying free and splatting on the table.
Ransom shrugged and continued to eat.
“We should probably go see her,” Jamie advised though he made no move to stand away from his hot breakfast.
“Did you bring the toast and tea?” asked Ransom.
Jamie put a hand into his deep pockets and produced a flask of brown Earl Grey and two slices of toasted Plain bread.
Holly sighed, “I’ll tell her you are on your way.”

1 Hour Later
Cass paced back and forth across the Drive Room, Jay silently watching her.
“Where are they?” She spat the question. “This is serious, don’t they know that?”
A couple of voices drifted through the corridor.
“So the Harmonic Distributer *crunch* is interfering with the Quantum entanglement?” said Jamie’s voice.
“Yup, they seem to cancel each other out. *crunch* But I’m not sure why. It would be easier it I had some Caledonium to hand,” said Ransom’s voice.
“Hey! *CRUNCH* We might actually have some of that!” said Phil excitedly.
“Maybe this universe isn’t so *crunch* bad after all.”
Ransom, Jamie and Phil all walked in, cereal bowls balanced in their hands.
“What time do you call this?” asked Cass, annoyed.
“Breakfast time?” replied Ransom with a shrug and another spoonful of cereal.
“You know, this is serious, right?” Jay asked, trying to hide his smile of amusement from Cass.
“Yes, but I’ve just discovered, what is it?”
“Cornflakes,” Jamie answered through a mouthful of the milk and cereal.
“Yes! Cornflakes. Delightful little things.”
Cass sighed, clearly stressed. “Listen, there are micro-time gates appearing throughout the ship.”
“So ask “Dr. I Work For My PhDs and Have a Right to be a Pompous Arse” or South, they’d love to do it.”
“They are pre-occupied.”
“With what?”
“One of them is busy falling in love with a dying alien.”
“…right. So where are these time gates then?”
“Decks sixty-six to ninety-nine.”
“Gentlemen," Ransom said, turning to his two companions, "Would you accompany me?”

1 Hour Later
"Have you got a temporal freezer?" asked Jamie as he toyed with a small computer on the side of a large gun-like device mounted on the top of a camera tripod. It resembled a spotlight, a followspot, somewhat. Well, a spotlight with a variety of computing and machine parts attached to it.
"I think Phil has it," Ransom said as he was putting the finishing touches to his calculations on a pad of paper, a pencil nub clutched in his hand.
"PHIL!" shouted Jamie.
There was a joyous "weeeee" as Phil came racing down the angled corridor on a piece of metal mounted on wheels. Phil raced past Ransom and Jamie, dropping a thin cylindrical like device at their feet.
"Thanks, Phil," Jamie said behind a smile and got to work installing it in the device. "He's quite good at engineering, really."
"I can tell, he basically built this thing."
"I think he prefers to not be, though."
"Don't we all?"
"There we go!" said Jamie as he locked the temporal freezer in place. "Calculations, please."
Ransom handed over the pad of paper as he underlined the final numbers to Jamie, setting about finishing the beam focusing array. Ransom had rather South, the resident expert of temporal matters, look over it than risk his own reputation on something he had only a moderate grasp on.
"Looks good, I think," Jamie commented as he flipped through the pages and began to tap it into the computer.
Phil arrived again, stopping just short of running Ransom down, and jumped off from his makeshift skateboard. He and Ransom lifted the device onto the skateboard and set about welding it in place.
After a few more minutes of work, the Temporal Analyser was finished.
"Well, well done gentlemen," said Ransom admiring the rickety, dangerously unsafe device they had created.
"Now all we have to do is find one of the micro-time gates and we can trace the origin."

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