Command Bridge Tower
Robotech: The Macross Saga
Ramius’ stomach was doing flip-flops that were only partially due to the terror flooding him. The part of him that was Gloval remembered the sensation and he knew what was happening. It was starting. The Space-Fold.
Space was beginning to distort and thus gravity was fluctuating as well. Ramius tore his eyes widened with horror from the viewport that enabled him to gaze down at the hapless Sunnydale.
Without a care of protocol, he grabbed the earphones with the attached mike from one of the bridge ratings, tore it off, and jammed it up against his head.
“Disengage the Reflex Furnaces!” Ramius roared into the mike and squinted as he listened to the reply through the one of the headset earphones, grimacing. “Then find someone who CAN!” Ramius barked, barely managing to resist the urge to break the stupid headset in a fit of rage and panic.
Space-folding in a planet’s gravity well was considered the height of stupidity. That was why the Zentraedi were so surprised and taken aback at the tactic when Gloval had executed it out of sheer ignorance. Some might have deemed it broadly imaginative and tactically innovative.
Others more experienced with the concepts of the physics behind warping of space/time would have scornfully declared it suicidal at best. Basically, you’d have better odds of playing a deranged version of Russian Roulette and pulling the trigger five times on each spin, counting on the odds that you wouldn’t
blow your brains out on one of the trigger pulls.
Gloval had spent considerable time discussing the situation with Exedore and consulting the translated Zentraedi Records and been appalled at just how close the planet Earth dodged a huge bullet during his blunder. Basically, bad things happened when you fiddled with the gravitational constant of a planet. In essence, they were lucky that ONLY a small section of the planet vanished into hyperspace. The last major Fold accident in Zentraedi Records had caused a major geological fault that practically ripped the planet in half. Smaller accidents had resulted in some planets merely being knocked out of their orbital axis or caused a derangement in ozone layers that resulted in an uncontrolled bombardment of ultraviolet rays that killed only 99 percent of the organic life on the planet.
That was why the safety and failsafe systems for Space-Folds were so extensive on any ship. Of course on a properly outfitted and maintained ship, there was no way he would have been able to perform such a boneheaded maneuver anyways. There were numerous cutoffs and failsafes to prevent such an occurrence. Of course, humanity were barely aware of what they were doing when they put the damn alien ship back together—they had inadvertently disabled those same failsafes.
The SDF-1 would to catapulted—where? God only knew. They could wind up in the middle of a star or in the center of a planet—even if the navigational computers weren’t screwed up, the unstable fold bubble due to Earth’s gravity well would misjump them anyways.
But at least the SDF-1 had a chance of surviving that. The inhabitants of Sunnydale on the other hand had absolutely zero.
“Is there any way that we can leave the atmosphere? Get some safe distance between us and Sunnydale? Not the mention the rest of the planet?” Ramius demanded hopefully.
One of the bridge personnel shook her head, “No sir! We’re barely able to maintain our present altitude with all of the energy that the Space-Fold Engines are draining from the Reflex Furnaces!”
Lisa—or whoever was wearing her uniform, turned from her bridge station, “Sir, could we tap into the Civil Defense Broadcast System? Send out an alert to get people to take cover before we fold?” she said urgently, immediately grasping the ghastly consequences of a Space-Fold would have on Sunnydale.
Ramius shook his head. He had already thought of that. Even using the SDF-1’s external speakers to broadcast an emergency alert message.
But what good would it do? What protection could the civilians seek? Where could the hapless civilians possibly go? If—by sheer chance they didn’t
instantly kill themselves by rematerializing in deep space—the inhabitants of Sunnydale were as good as dead.
The only reason why Macross Island had so many survivors was that the civilians had been evacuated into emergency shelters. Shelters that included being pressurized—in the event of a biological or chemical assault by alien invaders. And as it turned out, also vacuum rated for a short time.
Long enough for the SDF-1 to get organized and frantically begin rescue operations at least. Even so, Ramius knew—something that the anime series didn’t show was that at least one shelter’s seal had failed and the entire occupants had literally suffocated to death. In a sense, that was a mercy that their ending had been relatively quick.
But Ramius knew of no 1950s or 60s Cold War Civil Defense-built shelter that could possibly protect the inhabitants within from the unimaginable of having the entire town plunged into the unforgiving depths of deep space with no atmosphere.
He felt his soul shriveling at the thought that he would get a first row seat at watching almost 38,500 people die from explosive decompression. And it would be all Ramius’ fault.----
BOOK ONE: Farewell Earth
Chapter Two: Adieu
----1630 Revello Drive
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“It’s all that skank Summers’ fault.”
Cordelia closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then gazed at the damn mirror once more. Nope. Still a frickin’ cat girl.
It had finally happened just like Cordelia knew it would. After all this time of her adroit dodging the weird, strange, and bizarre crap that constantly happened to Buffy Summers—Summers had finally fucked up. And now Cordelia Chase was a goddamn cat woman with more hair on her entire body than her head.
Summers undoubtedly had managed to sail through this whole screwed up situation without a blemish on her! Even if poor Cordelia invested a fortune in Nair and possibly some super-wax remover products, she wouldn’t ever pass as human even without her new fur coat. Life was so unfair!
“Oh why? Why? Why does horrible things happen to good people?” Cordelia hissed to her mirror reflection, noting that the pair of the ears on the top of her head flattened, reflecting her mood and claws had popped out some sort of concealed slits on her fingers. It was official. She had been inducted into the strange weirdo club with the other dweebs and losers like Xander and Willow.
She was sure that her fur was going to stink something awful when it got wet too.
Another thing to blame that faux blonde-dyed Summers for. She was so going to pay for this!----Bridge
Naval Construction Contract (NCC) 1701
The turbolift doors whooshed open and several more crewmen stumbled out. Some looked a little dazed and even more so, Jonathan Levinson recognized that they were wearing a mixture of various uniforms from different eras or rather series. “Name, Rank, and Specialty?” he inquired, getting a DS9 Environmental Tech, a TOS Yeoman, and a TNG Operations Officer whom he drafted to serve as a makeshift Communications Specialist. He left the new Communications Officer to try and puzzle his way through the anachronistic (to him!) communications station.
Jon always knew Sunnydale was weirder than most towns—but even he had to admit that this transcended into a whole new plateau
of weirdness. The part of him that was James T. Kirk was more interested in eyeballing the shapely rear of the Yeoman and quietly giving thanks that the miniskirt uniforms were still in service. It would have been a crime to cover up those legs! Damn!
He struggled to refocus his thoughts but it was difficult. Not only did Jon have the persona of Captain James T. Kirk, a notorious womanizer lurking in his head but was also in the body of a hormonal and horny teenager.
He reached out and stroked the armrest of the Captain’s—HIS chair almost reverently before he gingerly sat down in it and leaned back. Wow. So cool. This was like a dream come true—
The turbolift doors whooshed open once more and a high-pitched screech erupted. “I KNEW IT! YOU ROTTEN KIDS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS!”
Jon whirled around, his back snapping erect as a short humanoid came charging out of the turbo elevator.
He cringed at the sight. The short stocky frame. The huge swelling hairless dome. The ridged nose. The impossibly gigantic ears. By the Great Bird of the Galaxy,
Jon thought in complete and total shock. It was Principal Snyder.
And he was a Ferengi.
Snyder bared his mouth full of sharpened teeth at him, “You brats have finally gone too far this time! EXPULSION!”
Jon cowered at the horrific sight. This was a nightmare.----Elsewhere
The Hellmouth was a weak point in the dimension barriers. It was a nexus point, a gateway to other realms that tended to be on the lower end of energy quantum spectrum.
And it was trembling like mad. More and more of it’s supernatural energies were being drained to fuel the massive Halloween Spell—already the lesser Hellmouths that radiated out from the Sunnydale main one had collapsed upon themselves, completely sapped and exhausted of their power.
It was the last one on Earth. And it was dying. And on some quasi-sentient fashion—it was aware of it’s impending doom. Even worse, it could feel its connection to the infernal realms being shredded apart by some space/temporal distortion and it desperately sought to maintain its fragile stability.
In essence, the Hellmouth was a door coming in
. And the SDF-1 was creating a door going out
. In the same area. Even at the best of times, these dimensional doors were inherent unstable and this tug-of-war for supremacy merely increased the complications.
The SDF-1’s Space-Fold Engines were howling and straining as the static trans-dimensional bubble formed momentarily and then collapsed, bursting apart like a soap bubble as the Hellmouth fought to maintain itself while the Fold Engines sought to break them apart.
On the one hand, it bought them extra time to try and save the unprotected populace. On the other hand—one of the two eventually had to give. Either the Space-Fold Engines or the Hellmouth. The resulting fallout from either one was bound to be on the spectacularly messy side…----Location Undetermined
Core Universe Undetermined
Willow Rosenberg opened her eyes and found herself staring at an unfamiliar ceiling. There was a chime and she saw illumination panels brighten from a nocturnal level to one more suited for daytime illumination as the smart computer detected the change the change in her conscious state.
Then she frowned. No 20TH Century technology existed to do that!
She jerked upright and stumbled slightly. She glanced down at her body and did a double take. “AAAACK!”
She frantically looked around and was relieved that no one was present to see her dressed up in such—such scandalous clothes! Hell, she had swimsuits that possessed more … material than this skimpy bikini. And—
she glanced down again. Not only that, but when did her breasts practically double in size?
She discreetly peeked here and there including beneath the small bits of fabric—not to mention when did I get a full body tan?
Willow decided to ignore that in favor of finding some clothes that covered more of her body—which was also much more muscular than she remembered being. She further ignored the fact that whoever had dressed her up had to have shaved … certain areas. And not just her legs.
She started growling as rummaging through the closet with the Star Trek-style doors that slid open obediently quickly showed her that her current set of clothes were the least provocative and demure outfit available.
She frowned as she found a Kuan Yin D480 laser pistol. And then another one. She carefully set it aside along with a not inconsiderable arsenal pile. Clearly whoever’s room this was happened to be was a solid convert to the notion of peace through superior firepower.
If it wasn’t painfully obvious that whoever’s closet this was happened to be female, Willow would have suspected that the gun nut—er enthusiast
—was trying to compensate for something with the hugely oversized and overpowered weapons.
And overly enthralled with explosions to boot as she found a fifth Serec TM super-eradication grenade with the high-ex napalm-thermite fragmentation option for when you needed to not only blow something up into itty-bitty pieces but turn any inconvenient itty-bitty pieces into ash. She finished unwrapping it from a piece of fabric that someone might generously proclaim as underwear and what Willow would have declared to be a piece of string. Well whoever she was,
Willow reflected absently as she glanced at the model number, she did have good taste in explosives.
The Serecs weren’t the wimpy 4500 model but the upgraded (and much more expensive) 4700 version with the super-stabilized synthetic napalm gel and enhanced igniter cap for improved safe handling—and the extra kick for a higher and wider explosive spread.
Willow was so distracted by everything from waking up in a strange room and her body alterations with her dire need for better clothing that it didn’t even occur to her to wonder just how did she have such an intimate knowledge of the high-tech sci-fi weaponry that didn’t even exist yet.----Command Bridge Tower
Robotech: The Macross Saga
It was simply easier to think of herself as Claudia Grant at the moment. She supposed that it had helped that she had never seen Robotech
or whatever anime series that it was actually based upon before, because having an incredibly realistic lifetime of memories of a fictional character crammed into her skull would definitely increased the possibility of her freaking out about the impossible situation that she was in. Because right now—if she tried to think of herself as being Denise Watts, a Psych Major at UC Sunnydale, she’d probably have to check in at the insane asylum and not as staff.
It would make for one hell of a dissertation. Of course, if she tried to submit it, she might be submitted to the aforementioned asylum—this time involuntarily. No doubt if she tried to use some sort of photographic evidence of the SDF-1, they’d declare that she had photoshopped it.
Of course, if she lived through this emergency, she might consider getting herself checked into one. It would less stressful but she suspected that the food sucked and getting checked out would be a problem.
She stared hard at her monitors. Weird. Very weird,
the mind of Claudia Grant remarked. It had gone far past weird and into the downright bizarre,
was Denise Watts’ rejoinder. She turned, “Sir? The airspace is getting … crowded out there.”
Multiple glowing dots phasing in and out on her display screens. “Spatial distortions increasing …” she reported.
Lisa—or Lisa’s analogue was studying the readings with intent interest. “RDF or UEG FOF tags?” she asked.
“I’m getting signals off them but nothing in our database,” Claudia reported but Watts added in a bit sourly, “But I recognize at least one of them visually as being the USS Enterprise
from Star Trek
She had dated a Trekkie
for about three months and had been forced to sit through all of the movies at least
once. She managed to weasel out of seeing all of the television episodes though. Their relationship ended when he wanted her to wear Lieutenant Uhura’s dress during sex. That’s where she drew the line.
Of course, if she was standing in a fictional spaceship, why shouldn’t other people be suffering like her and standing in another fictional spaceship and trying not to freak out? At least hers’ came with some kickass weapons. Oh God, she hoped her ex-boyfriend wasn’t over there. She’d never hear the end of him crowing about it.
Ramius was staring at the display of ships—starships
and hope swelled within him. “Open a radio frequency! Now!”
Denise looked at him in surprise and no little confusion, “Uh … to who sir?”“EVERYBODY!”----Bridge
Naval Construction Contract (NCC) 1701
Jon was thinking that Snyder might have made a great monk.
Back during the Inquisition.
He was busy ranting about the immorality of teenagers, how he was going to be calling their parents, promising eternal damnation, and how the right-thinking people were going to be bringing back corporal punishment. Somehow he could just imagine the little Ferengi in a monk’s robe, cackling as he tightened the screws on a rack while remarking, ‘You have the right to scream all you want, I don’t care.’
It would have been a lot funnier though, if in Jon’s fantasy that he wasn’t the victim stretched out on the medieval torture device.
Suddenly, the Ops Guy who was temping as a Communications Officer suddenly got a focused look on his face, pressing the little communication earphone that looked like the modern day cellular earpieces and began tapping several on the control buttons on his board. “Er … Captain?” he said hesitantly.
Jon blinked and then realized that he was sitting the Chair. He was wearing the Shirt. Technically, he was the Ranking Officer even if he didn’t feel like Captain James T. Kirk. Somehow, his costume suddenly felt a whole lot realer and heavier.
His voice didn’t crack in the midst of his “Put it on speaker Lieutenant.”
The Ops Lieutenant stabbed a button on his panel. “—we have lost control of our Space-Fold Engines! This ship and a wide region including the city of Sunnydale will soon be displaced, possibly into deep space. I urgently request that any ship that is capable of assisting us in moving out of the planetary atmosphere contact us immediately! If you are incapable of doing so, I urge—beg—you to take on as many civilians as possible and give them shelter! I repeat, this is Captain Ramius aboard the SDF-1! We have lost control of our Space-Fold Engines! This—”
Jonathan blinked. He remembered Robotech
vaguely, it had been a few years back though. How did it go again?
“Well?! What are you waiting for? We have to get out of range of that flying deathtrap!” Snyder barked, waving his arms around.
“But what about the people—” the Ops Lieutenant sputtered.
“That’s their tough luck! We have to look out for ourselves!” Snyder snapped.
Jon suddenly felt a surge of defiance, a surge of a starship captain. A surge of James T. Kirk. “This ship is not going anywhere! ETA to Space-Fold?” Jon asked urgently.
“Very interesting, the space/time constant is … changing,” the guy dressed up as Spock murmured, consulting his readouts. “It is remarkably similar to a black hole,” he commented.
“So basically, we’re going to be squished into paste?” Jon blurted out horrified.
“I said similar, not identical,” the Spock-wannabe retorted acidly, a bit of his human personality leeching through the logical, emotionless veneer. “I cannot be certain, this area is generating some sort of subspace and gravimetric instability—but perhaps less than 30 minutes.”
30 minutes. Jon grimaced. Not much time. He glanced over to the red shirted adult, probably college aged and standing by the Engineering Station. “Chief Engineer, how many people can we beam up at a time?” he demanded.
“With all of the transporters, even the cargo ones?” the Scotty imitation said, cocking his head and thinking furiously. “36 people every three minutes. But at maximum transporter cycling, we’d only be able to transport about 200 people per half an hour. And the transporters weren’t meant to be used continuously. We’d have to shut down them for about fifteen minutes after a max cycle and do some maintenance before transporting again or we risk burning them out. It’ll be even longer for the cargo transporters—maybe twenty to thirty minutes; they’re not optimized for molecular resolution for organic life forms.”
Jon winced. 200 people. Out of 38,500 or so. The hard numbers made him quail. And that estimate probably didn’t even take into account that the people they would be beaming up would be panicking or suspicious. They’d have to convince them to leave the transport pads and then guided to quarters and once again, convince them to remain there. Evacuations did not
go smoothly. That would only increase the delays. Factor that in, maybe 150. If they were lucky.
“You can’t … speed that up?” he asked hopefully.
“I cannae change the laws of physics! I’d have to literally swap out the pattern buffers an’ the energizing coils!”
Jon blinked as Scotty’s Highlander accent started thickening as his stress increased and became increasingly undecipherable.
“It wud take longer to do that than lettin’ them cool down! I dinnae even know how many replacement spares we got! All those transporters working full blast, the stress an’ strain on ‘em makes it verra likely that they’ll bollux up!”
Spock added, “In addition, we do not have the life support capacity nor the passenger room to fit Sunnydale’s population of 38,500 individuals. At best, we might be hold approximately 660 for short periods and that would be with zero redundancies.”
“And it’ll be a tight squeeze,” an environmental tech added with a wince.
“That’s something!” Jon snapped. “Start beaming them up!”
Immediately the crew leapt into action and impatiently, Jon leapt to his feet as well and started pacing, “OK, we don’t have the capacity to carry that many people, but the SDF-1 does if memory serves. What if we were to just transport people from Sunnydale over to the SDF-1 directly?”
Scotty scoffed. “Site-to-site transporting? Not bloody likely! We’d have to beam them up first, then transport them over! That’ll cut down on our beam up rate too.”
The environmental tech prompted, “Shuttle them over?”
“That’ll take even longer,” was the communications officer’s dour response.
“Transporting directly to the SDF-1 is not feasible either. The molecular density of their external armor is incredibly high. While it does not block our transporter beams entirely, it does scatter and deflect them a great deal. We would have to be extremely close and I would estimate the odds for a successful transport to be rather high,” Spock stated curtly.
“Why are we even wasting time with this!” Snyder cut in abruptly. “You’re just a student! I’m the principal and what I say goes! And so does this ship! 200 people?! That’s what? 1 lousy percent of the population? Faugh!” Snyder sneered and made a throwing away motion with his hand. “You have to know when to cut your losses and save what you can!”
A new voice interrupted them. “Excuse me, Captain? But I believe that we could save approximately 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sunnydale if we act quickly enough.”
Jon whirled around at the Lieutenant Commander in a TNG uniform standing at the alcove of the turbolift judging by his collar rank pips. He must have entered the Bridge along with Principal Snyder. He had been so quiet and unobtrusive that Jon had missed him entirely. Well, a brass band could have going off and they might have missed it. He had a rather pasty, sallow skin and slicked back hair and for some reason, he sorta reminded Jon of the actor John Ritter from Three’s Company.
“We can? How?” Jon asked intently.
“By removing four of the Enterprise’s primary shield generators, emplacing them at key points in Sunnydale with various modifications; we can create an overlapping atmospheric containment field that could prevent catastrophic loss of breathable air which would be the primary and most immediate cause of fatalities,” the Lt. Commander recited curtly.
“Tha’s nae possible! You cannae create an atmospheric containment field to encompass an entire city!” Scotty protested.
The Lieutenant Commander nodded in agreement. “That is correct. By 23rd Century technology, it is impossible. However 24th Century technology has improved the efficiency of shield generation. It is indeed possible providing that you modify them under my direction.”
“Lieutenant Commander…?” Jon asked, fishing for more information.
“Buchanan. Ted Buchanan. But I suppose that it would more suitable for you to call me Data.”----A/N:
Dedicated for Tom Clancy who passed away this October 1, 2013 and who gave us “The Hunt For Red October”,
Jack Ryan, and of course, Captain Marko Ramius. Thanks for creating such great characters that I had to play around with for myself.
For the record, I’m not fully conversant with the transporter capabilities of the Enterprise for you nitpickers out there. My transporter statistics are just the product of my own imagination for suitable dramatic effect, but I figure the Enterprise must have more than one transporter room with the transporter pads. I’ve never seen the Enterprise set up for a mass scale transporter evacuation.
My beta (and inspiration), Kedrann gave me a lot of help with correcting my numerous spelling errors, technical assistance regarding the effects of vacuum, and the final scene as well. Basically all of the good parts are because of him, the mistakes are mine.
I honestly hoped to post this chapter on Halloween, October 31st itself but story blockage prevented me from finishing up in time. Sorry. Hopefully, you won't have to wait until next year for your fix of Halloween Universal
. But I make no promises. Flames will be ignored, but reviews will probably help me writing too.