Who: Jamie, Eve, Ransom, Brett
Where: The Refectory – accommodation C deck
" the mean time..RANSOM MACINTYRE STAY OUT OF MY FRIDGE!!! Yes MP i can see the chicken, very nic...PUT DOWN THAT POULTRY RIGHT NOW OR I WILL KI..." The video cut out, leaving those present no wiser than before. In fact the confusion level had raised slighty.

“Mad” Ransom shook his head in disbelief “Every last one of you - You’re all stark raving mad!”


“What...?” he frowned down at the makeshift temporal analyser, which was now vibrating alarmingly.

Wum-wumWUM-wum wum-wumWUM-wum.

“Is it meant to be doing that?” Eve asked, timorously from the other side of the room.

“No” Jamie shook his head “I’m pretty sure that’s a bad thing”

“Then, uh...” Brett called “Shouldn’t you...?”

Both Ransom and Jamie took a rapid step backwards as, with an ear splitting shriek, emanating from deep within the bowels of the analyser, sparks began to arc and snap across the device's egg whisk array.

“That’s not -”

A sharp bang preceded a lick of blue flame and puff of acrid black smoke.

“Move!” Ransom roared, rather unnecessarily, given that Jamie was already well ahead of him and sprinting towards the exit.

Brett, with little time to spare, grabbed Eve by the hand and hauled her in behind the shelter of the stainless steel servery, seconds before the temporal analyser detonated with a deafening explosion.

Leaning back around the doorway a couple of seconds later, Jamie squinted through the eerily lit dust and smoke filling the room “Is everyone okay?”

As if in response, the light inside the smoke suddenly brightened as, unimpeded any further by the analyser, the portal blazed open in a tremendous surge of energy. An armoured figure stepped through the haze into the refectory, his boots thudding heavily on the Dwarf’s deck plates, amid the whine of his armour’s servos.

Levelling his weapon, the trooper fired another blast of purple liquid at Jamie, forcing him back into cover as the viscous gunk splashed off the doorway near his head, spattering his face and clothes.

With the time gate collapsing behind him, the armoured figure cocked another temporal anchor into the chamber of his blaster's underbarrel launcher and wheeled to level the weapon at Ransom.

“Whoa - Easy!” Ransom held up his hands as he emerged from behind one of several hastily upturned tables “We mean you no harm. Where are you from?”

Seeing him, already coated in purple gunge, the figure ignored him, pulling up his weapon and turning instead, to stride towards where Brett and Eve were sheltering, each footstep a dull, servo-assisted thud.

“Wait!” Ransom called after him as with a distant, rumbling thump, the lights suddenly went out "...What?"

Who: Boyd, South, Gavin
Where: The alien ship
When: just after the lights went out
"Stay where you are guys, you're safe there for the time being" Jade ordered.
“Will do” South flicked the communicator off and turned to survey his companions in the dim half-light, cast by the alien ship’s emergency lighting “You heard the lady”

Boyd coughed “You think it’s safe here!?”

“Sure – Why wouldn’t it be?” South shrugged “Tu’Vass seems like a lovely girl; I’m sure she's not the sort to travel around in a ship that’s actually bad for your health” he quirked an ironic eyebrow, but it was lost on the others.

“Maybe she’s just pretending to be nice?” Gavin offered.

“No” South said firmly “She’s nothing short of amazing – I can’t wait to give her a thorough examination”

This provoked a coughing fit of mirth from Gavin "I bet you can't" he gasped after a moment "There's a word for people like you!"

Boyd clapped South on the shoulder "I heard that it was plants you were into" he gave a wheezy chuckle.

Briefly closing his eyes, South took a deep breath to try and calm himself "Biolo-" he managed, before he too collapsed into a coughing fit "Oh, man" he croaked a few moments later "Why are we all coughing?"

"Could it be this mist?" Gavin pointed down towards their feet, which were lost in a few centimetres of previously unnoticed pale, white fog

"I dunno," Boyd gasped "but I don't wanna hang around and find out "

"Agreed" South coughed again "Let's get out of here"

As they turned to leave, Gavin held up a hand, his head cocked to one side "Did you hear that?"

They listened

"Nope -" Boyd began


They all heard it this time: Three loud metallic bangs, echoing back down from the way they had come.

"What," South murmured in the silence that followed "was that?"

Who: Jade, Tu'Vass, Artemis
Where: Artemis's lab
When: A short while after Artie had got the power back on and the Missus had returned

Tu'Vass, Jade noted, was looking much better for having had something to eat.

“Amu naomu-anno” the alien said in her sing-song voice and patted her stomach, the ghost of a smile playing across her lips.

“So you say” Artie tapped away at the controls for the bank of medical scanners positioned above the bed Tu’Vass was sat on.


“Yeah, yeah...” Artemis beckoned to Jade “Doctor Black – Your opinion, if you will”

Moving across the room to join him in front of a bank of monitors by the controls, Jade pursed her lips and peered up at the data “What am I looking at?”

“Here, here and here” Artemis indicated several of the schematics.

Tu’Vass’s readings were still all over the place, but given her marked improvement, it was hard to say whether this was as normal or not.

“Weird” Jade murmured. Reaching forward, she tapped the away at the diagnostic controls, initialising a more detailed battery of scans “Maybe those synthetic dendritics would have worked?”

“They could just as easily have killed her”

“Onumu loma numoe-naheh”

Jade straightened to regard Tu’Vass.

“I wish we could understand you” she gave the alien a lopsided smile “Cass says Holly will probably have a working translator for you in a couple of days”

“Cassayz ollee?”

“You’ll pick the basics up in a few months” Artemis said dismissively.

Tu’Vass shook her head and slipped down off the bed, one hand clutching the blanket, tightly around her. “Isichi no muano!”

“Stay on the bed please”

“Isichi no muano!” she pointed past Jade and Artemis towards the observation window behind them, her eyes widening with surprise “Isichi no muano!”

“What?” Jade wheeled in unison with Artemis to see the hulking shape of a heavily armoured figure beyond the glass.

“Where the fuck did he come from!?” Artemis demanded as the figure levelled it’s blaster at the window, separating them.

Who: Cass, Jay
Where: Drive Room
When: Same time

“It's looking like they’re from around a million years ago” Holly nodded “Near some neutron star about eight thousand light years from here”

“We’re reading multiple incursions” Jay scowled up at the schematics projected on the main monitors “We need to do something”

Cass shook her head “Everything is under control”


All – How is it under control?

Jamie, Eve, Ransom, Brett – You’ve got a trooper marching towards Eve and Brett with the intention of blasting you both with temporal anchors.

Boyd, South, Gavin – What’s that mist all about? What’s making those noises? – Whatever it is, is blocking your exit...

Jade, Tu'Vass, Artemis – There’s another trooper aiming a gun at you – Can he get in? – What happens if he does?

Everyone else - Sorry I missed you out. Just write yourself in any way you like - there are enough troopers to go around

In all cases, the troopers are very heavily armoured, so it’ll take more than a pulse rifle to put them down.

How did they get a lock on the Dwarf?

Are there any more on the way?


< Prev : Things can always get way way worse Next > : Stage setting