Chapter Description: Team, meet Kate O'Reilly!
Rutherford clicked the first entry on the list presented by the ancient video player app. A frumpy woman with mousey brown hair in a conservative bun and a weather-worn face that bespoke extensive archaeological experience in her late forties appeared on the screen.
“Okay!” said the woman as she moved her head from side to side then back and forth. “Whoa! That camera lag is fun to watch!”
The next clip on the list lit up and played automatically. The same woman appeared looking fresher this time as if she’d just come back from a relaxing spa with a deep muscle rub down as part of the package.
“It occurs to me that some future generation might be watching this, so an explanation is necessary.” She sat back to frame her upper body better. With nothing remarkable about it, some middle-age sag here and there, a few extra pounds of weight the speaker had nothing to suggest anything remarkable about her.
“I am Doctor Katherine O'Reilly, Age 46, with several PhDs in the earth sciences and anthropology. I’m quite pleased to mention as an aside that I just earned my Degree in alien studies after a decade of intense research! But I digress, vanity isn’t my strong suit, hopefully.”
“We, the crew and I, just rendezvoused with a ship that had been to the gamma quadrant. Professor Archer made some interesting finds there and charged us with transporting this advanced hard light holo projector. After studying this artifact for several weeks we’ve discovered that it possesses an interesting capability!”
The next video clip queued and started. Doctor O’Reilly’s face appeared on the screen and gave a stunning contrast to her previous one. Her skin had taken on a healthy glow and lost the ruddiness that overexposure to harsh alien suns causes. She adjusted the camera to include her upper body which showed her at her peak of health. Firm skin and perfect supple breasts peeked out from the half-opened front seam of her Starfleet uniform, and not a wrinkle could be found on her now.
She brushed an errant strand of straight golden brown silky hair out of her face, sat up straight in her chair to emphasize her assets, and stared at the camera with a seductively teasing smile:
“Hi! Katherine O’Reilly here! My friends call me Kate, I’m in my early thirties, my interests are Archeology, and Geology, and I’m just beginning my Ph.D. program in Alien Studies! If you’re over thirty, like long talks about ancient civilizations and studying fossils, then call me! Please leave your pertinent information on the Love Match website. Thank you for viewing my video!"
After a few moments of staring at the camera and nervously biting a long, polished fingernail, the lovely young lady noticed the device was still on and muttered, "I hope that wasn't too forward!" as the video ended.
Rutherford paused the video player before the next clip could start.
“Well, what do you make of that? She said that she’d found out something interesting about the artifact one moment and then acts like an interviewee for an archaic dating app!”
“There’s something else,” observed Mariner, “She said her age was in her forties and then her age was in her thirties! Did she physically regress?”
“No doubt about it,” added Tende as she called up her scan data on her tricorder. “It would explain why the DNA samples show practically no physical degradation due to time passage. The samples are only weeks old instead of decades!”
Boimler’s survival response kicked in, “Guys, I think we’re entering dangerous territory here! We don’t know what caused Doctor O’Reilly to regress like that. We need to stop and report our findings before we end up in diapers or worse!”
“Just chill, Boimler! We’re on to something here and I don’t want to wait for several weeks to months to find out what happened to Doctor O’Reilly! If we encounter danger, we handle it when it happens!”
“Everybody, except me, is okay with this then?” He looked around the room and got affirmative nods from Tende, Rutherford, and of course, Mariner who asked him for his comm badge.
“Why do you want that?”
“I’ve seen you operate, Boimler, no offense, but your survival mode is stronger than your sense of adventure!” she said as she put it down next to the Holographic PC absentmindedly. The feeling of the room shrinking and growing in her mind caused her keen senses to be distracted.
Rutherford resumed the next video in the queue. Doctor Kate appeared as a girl in her late teens sporting a tremendous hangover. Her pale skin had a greenish tinge as she nursed her headache and sipped water carefully to not throw up from it irritating her stomach.
“Whoa! That was a party! Ol’ Katie can really get lit, you know? I must have downed a keg on top of dozens of those foo-foo drinks!” The video clip ended with the next in the queue starting.
The image of Katie O'Reilly presented to the Lower Deck personnel caused a shock to run up and down their spines. A little girl in her tweens wearing a Starfleet captain’s uniform several sizes too large for her stared at the screen for a few moments. She then smiled as if she’d accomplished something very important.
“My name is Katie! I'm the captain of this ship and this is my first time on this neat old computer! My friend Charlie – say hello, Charlie! – showed me how to use it!”
A voice off-screen said hello as a loud crash sounded. Katie’s face showed a full left side profile as she watched with interest what happened off-screen. “You guys are gonna clean that up, right?” she asked and then nodded to an unheard response.
She turned her attention to a nude female doll and started playing with it. "They say I'm too old for dollies, Barbara! What do you think?" She listened to the doll pretending it talked to her and said, "Yes, that's right! Are you getting younger too, Barbara? No? Gee, you're lucky!"
Charlie came up to her and said, “Okay, we’ve got all the logs wiped, Robinson is getting rid of last week's records, and Cindy needs a diaper change again. It’s been nice to serve with you captain Katie!”
Katie smiled and put on, to her, a dramatic captain’s face. She swept her hand across her brow for added drama and lamented, “What I do, I do for my command! Farewell, cruel, cruel world!” Then moved Barbara's hand up and down in a "bye-bye" motion.
The little girl had physically regressed during the video from age twelve to age 9. She smiled a cheesy gap-toothed grin at the camera as her image faded out.
The last known video clip of Doctor Katherine Constance O'Reilly ended.
End of Chapter three.
Stories of Age/Time Transformation