Voyager’s Wrong Turnings: Tuvix

Captain Janeway and security officers escort Tuvix into Sickbay, where the EMH and Harry Kim have prepared the transporter procedure which will kill him. The security officers continue to act like totally anonymous nobodies dealing with total strangers despite being isolated on the same ship of only 140 people for years.

EMH: I’m sorry, Captain, but I cannot perform the surgical separation. I am a physician, and a physician must do no harm. I will not take Mister Tuvix’s life against his will.

JANEWAY: Very well, Doctor. Please step aside.

TUVIX:  You’re really going to do this.

JANEWAY: Yes.

TUVIX: No. Computer: Tuvix One.

Sickbay goes dark but for a transporter flare.

JANEWAY: Janeway to the bridge!

No response. The security guards grapple with the door, because “This has never worked in the history of ever” hasn’t been added to the tactical manual yet. They didn’t even open a little hatch beside it or anything. Janeway indicates and they fire phasers which flare against a forcefield.

BRIDGE: every console either blinks red or winks out

PARIS, hands raise from conn in surprise: Navigation just shut down!

CHAKOTAY, looking at that little armrest screen which must have some revolutionary new form of Federation-font which allows someone to administer an entire starship through five square centimetres of screen without squinting their eyes into neutronium: Every transporter system just overloaded and burned out.

KIM: Commander! The shuttlecrafts are launching!

CHAKOTAY: Which ones?

KIM, looks up dramatically, because that’s what you do when you’re meant to be keeping an eye on vital bridge readouts during a crisis situation: All of them!

EXTERNAL SHOT VOYAGER REAR: An infinite spiral of shuttlecrafts pour out of Voyager in every direction, a swirl expanding from the rear docking bay to blanket all of space in a solid mass of endless, unlimited, uncountable shuttlecraft. Their nacelles flare and the entire screen goes blue.

SICKBAY: The doors glow red and disintegrate under sustained phaser fire from the outside, the quarantine forcefield flaring out an instant later. Chakotay pokes his head through the hole.

JANEWAY strides towards the hole: What have you done to catch Tuvix?

CHAKOTAY shrugs: Nothing. You might not have noticed, Captain, but this whole quadrant’s a Skinner box training everyone that even saluting without your approval results in at least mutilation, second-degree glares, and three separate timelines where we all die. Last we saw of him was a hemisphere of shuttlecraft expanding in every direction away from the Alpha quadrant.

JANEWAY emerges into the hallway, seeing the entire remaining command crew sitting patiently in the hallway. Kim and Paris are attempting to act friendly, displaying all the natural warmth of a Breen and an Andorian scientifically measuring the freezing point of liquid hydrogen.

JANEWAY shakes her head, strides down hallway: Scan for his biosigns on those vessels and set a pursuit course.

TORRES pipes up: No can do, Captain. Sensors and weapons are offline, shields are raised and locked on, and the huge new Warp Core Override system sitting beside our warp core has us heading at maximum speed in the opposite direction.

JANEWAY stops: HOW in the name of Q did he install that there?

TORRES: Uh, he didn’t, he showed it to me in Cargo Bay 2. And I figured “Well, if we put intelligent warheads and hyper-evolved future-mutants right beside the most vital system in our ship, where else would I put this?”

JANEWAY nods as if to say “fair enough”, then turns: Kim, work with Torres to restore bridge controls.

KIM: Uh, captain, Seska was a Cardassian, and her cover was “loudly traitorous Maquis” with the rank of “sort of ensign”, and she still cracked our security like it was “PASSWORD”. Tuvok was our Vulcan Head of Security for several years. We couldn’t break Tuvix’s security if we ejected the computer core into space and fired a photon torpedo at it.

JANEWAY opens her mouth.

KIM: But the lockouts won’t let us. Even though the computer core would grow back by next week. There are already three new shuttlecraft in the launch bay, by the way. We still don’t know how that happens. But we can’t open the docking bay. We could pointlessly count how many photon torpedoes we have left to kill time if you like.

JANEWAY sighs.

Voyager proceeds at maximum warp until STARDATE+RND*99, automatically returning control to the crew when it encounters an alien ship. The EMH reactivates to find that the radioisotope research has been deleted and replaced with the Hippocratic oath.  Which has somehow been underlined and highlighted even when written in pure code. It’s also been linked to several ethical monographs on how if you develop a weapon, and tell someone about the weapon, then just sit there looking at it until they come and take it to use it, you’re not exactly doing no harm. He relays a message from Tuvix along the lines of “You’ll notice how I didn’t just kill all of you even in self-defense.”

Voyager eventually returns to Earth over a decade after their return in the original timeline. It turns out trying to murder your own chief tactical officer seventy thousand light years from the closest replacement isn’t a spectacular idea. They crew receive a glorious welcome, everyone on board receives promotions or generous Earthbound posts close to their family. Captain Janeway publicly declares her greatest task achieved and retires.

It is not publicly declared that she’s doing this to avoid the embarrassment of the Federation’s newest hero being tried for attempted murder based on a deposition submitted by Tuvix, who had crossed the Delta quadrant to use Gamma Quadrant wormhole several years earlier. Tuvix had not remained to press charges. Instead he broke the the news to Tuvok’s family – who dealt with it logically and without trying to kill him even once – before departing to continue his own life.

Read more of Voyager’s Wrong Turnings, so far including Scorpion: Part II.

 

ZERO POINT COMEDY is online

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ZERO POINT COMEDY is up, ready, and the result of over thirteen billion years of thermodynamic processes! (Okay, a result, but it’s pretty important to me right now).

Commenters keep asking for more science comedy so I’ve decided to call their bluff. ZERO POINT COMEDY would let me write more science, more often, with more research and more ridiculously wonderful hyperactive joy at just how awesome our species can be if we stop being dicks for like one second.

Come and see!

I cannot stress too much that the Empire is even stronger without the second Death Star – Emperor Johnson

The destruction of the second Death Star has been the most extraordinary political event in the Empire’s existence. Never in our history have so many people had such an undeniable and expensive effect on their own future.

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But I do not detect any real appetite to Rebel against my glorious rule, and it goes without saying that we are much better together in forming a new and better relationship with Alderaan. I cannot stress too much that the Empire will always trade with Alderaan, and Empire citizens will still be able to go and work in Alderaan, assuming they bring their own spacesuits, oxygen supplies, and some form of force-shielding to protect them from being pelted by rocks.

After meeting thousands of stormtroopers in the course of constructing the Death Star, I can tell you that the number one issue was control – my total and absolute control of the weak-minded. They agree that outside the job-destroying (and also life-destroying) obliteration of the Death Star, and the utterly impossible to predict yet absolutely identical destruction of the second Death Star, everything I have worked towards for as long as anyone can remember in order to cement my power through spectacular fear, we will survive and thrive as never before.

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On Endor and among the widely scattered molecules which once made the bridge of the Death Star the negative consequences are being wildly overdone, and the upside is being ignored. This is the greatest fireworks display the galaxy has ever seen. The negative differential terms of our economy are larger than anyone ever dreamed possible.

I must also explain why it took me several days to react to this event which was totally according to my plan and good actually. I was busy tracking the progress of the Imperial Credit in the wake of this spectacular success. This meant bravely plunging down a bottomless shaft filled with bolts of lightning, which later exploded. Which only goes to show how powerful our currency truly is. Now that our economy is below all others we are only better poised to strike at their soft underbellies.

The Empire is in good hands. The total silence of all the Death Star’s leaders was not because they had been obliterated by the total mismanagement and utter destruction of everything they’d thought to use to control the masses, but because they were turning their keen tactical minds to the next step. A few have even suggested a daring scheme where, after obliterating our own fully operational battle-station, then baiting Rebels into utterly destroying our second even larger fully operational battle-station, we might now turn our attentions to living on an entirely fictional world where we boldly refuse to change our stance, continuing to insist that our destructive plans and ludicrous overconfidence haven’t destroyed every single thing we ever thought to control. A world which will definitely not be destroyed in an even more titanic explosion than ever before.

Enjoy more political sci-fi with Irish Government Wiped Out By Alien Parasite, and more Star Wars with Patch Notes for C3-PO.1

Scientists Will Surrender To Climate-Change Deniers on Slope of Volcano

This morning scientists worldwide announced their total and unconditional surrender to climate change deniers, asking only that their capitulation take place on the slopes of Popocatépetl volcano at tomorrow morning.

“We admit it, it’s absolutely impossible for science to make any predictions of future events based on current theory and measurements,” admitted leading volcanologist Magnus Pyroklastic. “Which is why we want all climate change deniers to gather together, in one place, to accept our surrender. And that place should be in the slight depression in the south face of the volcano at 11 am plus or minus an hour tomorrow morning.”

“This will be symbolic of science’s total failure at predicting events.”

Scientists are even now working feverishly in the crater to set up cameras and television screens around the projector area. This includes a heavily reinforced VIP zone for all the denialist politicians. “It’s important that there should be protection between such politicans and the rest of the population”, explained atmospheric scientist Skye Blough. “That’s why we’re setting up these layers of chain fencing. It takes hours for people to get through, so it’s safe, but is absolutely and instantly permeable to any gases or liquids.”

The scientists explained that the televisions are so that the scientists can surrender remotely, as they feel too intimidated by the denialists iron-clad ability to point out when a day is cold and declare “So much for global warming!” to face them in person.

The scientists say the surrender could take several hours, and that the climate-change deniers should employ their special skill of absolutely sticking to their current position no matter what new evidence comes their way.

Irish Government Wiped Out By Alien Parasite

Ireland has been left without government  after a xenobiological infestation exterminated a large part of the Oireachtas. Earlier today senator Paul Bradford stumbled into Leinster House, the 18th-century Ducal Palace which acts as repository for the Irish government’s physical shells and moral views, with a scaled alien parasite affixed to his face. When security guards attempted to help with the horrific biological trauma being he hissed “There’s no such thing as an alien abnormality” before collapsing.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny swiftly leapt into action, pledging to establish constitutional convention to examine the issue, and whose convention’s recommendations would then be put to an Oireachtas committee, which would then explore possibly establishing a framework for future legislation, but only if Fine Gael was re-elected, following the dissolution of the current Dáil. The last part of this statement was relayed by radio as he had side-stepped the issue so far he was now in Cork. Unfortunately his deflections didn’t divert alien parasites which leapt from Bradford’s exploding corpse to infect several more TDs.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar rushed to the bleeding and inflated deputies to apply emergency spin. He urged considered and careful debate on the alien parasite issue. He pointed out that there would never be any such thing as a perfect solution, and that the mounds of bleeding bodies and ruined lives he was standing directly on top of as Health Minister — a pile which had doubled in size during his rhetoric, leaving him standing knee-deep in blood and gore– were no evidence at all.

When one security guard suggested destroying the alien parasites before they emerged he was threatened with a fourteen year jail sentence, and told to be grateful as before it would have been life imprisonment. Another guard suggested just leaving the Dáil but was reminded that many people couldn’t afford to just leave Irish institutions behind forever no matter how many problems it would solve.

The most recent reports from the speaker of the emergency committee of surviving Dáil members said “Hssssssssssssss!” and extended a second pair of jaws from inside its regular jaws, dripping acid which burned the floor. It then announced plans to rescind the water charges and is expected to sweep the next election.

More Irish headlines:

 

 

 

Court Declares That Badly Beaten Judge Was “Asking For It”

Two male defendants who violently assaulted Justice Robert Dewar in a Manitoba courtroom were cleared of all charges yesterday, when the court declared that the Justice had dressed provocatively and was “asking for it”.

“Flaunting himself in those red robes and that big wig”, said their defense lawyer. “In my clients’ experience, every man who dresses like that is out to put them in jail. He was just waving it all in their faces. What did he think was going to happen? How did he think they were going to act? He was just inviting this beating.”

The defense also specifically drew attention to how Justice Dewar was not wearing a bra.

“Maybe if he dressed more conservatively,” agreed the court bailiff, who eventually intervened in the savage and sustained beating. “I mean, it’s not like men have any decision making ability or motor control of their own. They just have a simple stimulus-response which strangely absolves them of all responsibility for their actions, but still counts as enough free will that they’re not locked up for their own protection. His robes really were like waving a red flag to a bull.”

Justice Robert Dewar’s current condition is described as “a stupid sexist asshole who shouldn’t be in charge of so much as a street crossing.”

Uses For Separate Hot and Cold Taps

If you’re reading this from the fabled First World of Indoor Plumbing, you may not know that Ireland and the UK still feature separate hot and cold taps. You might then reasonably assume that we also burn dried cow shit in our stoves, burn strangers, and have the local blacksmith to pull rotten teeth with a pair of tongs while we slug whiskey and clutch crudely-cured leather belts. But it’s only our washbasins which have been held in stasis, as if our kingdoms were once cursed by a hydrophobic witch.

  • But as you revel in your unicorns of hygiene, those magical single taps which can caress human skin without flaying or freezing it, you might not know the manifold uses of separated taps:
  • Not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, especially when that thing is screaming in pain.
  • Generating emergency power from an efficient thermocouple which anachronistically exists in a time when people apparently can’t work out how to join two pipes together.
  • Honoring the Thing of the Fantastic Four, who sacrificed his ability to feel almost anything with his rock skin, with one everyday item which might just lend sensation to his solid stone epidermis.
  • Waiting for water to mix provides ample time for thought, and where better to reflect on the realities of life than a room where you’ve just taken a shit?
  • Reminding peons not to take more than the barest moment away from their assigned workstations.
  • Reinforcing the lesson that many systems allegedly built for your comfort and convenience simply do not care, and would rather hurt you every day than make the least effort to change.
  • A reminder that humans cannot be trusted, as many would rather install a brand new cover with the exact same problems than fix the deep systemic flaws affecting the most vital necessities, such as the rotten and unhygienic water systems which first necessitated the use of separate taps.