Lower Decks: Tales From The Creche

by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Nov 12, 2022

Chapter 4
Truth And Consequences!

Chapter Description: Mariner and her fellow Lower Decks companions solve the mystery of the "regressed to impress" crew.

So, what do we know about what happened to the crew?” asked Mariner.

They all regressed into nothingness. Some faster than others,” said Tende.

It wasn’t caused by biological, nanotech, or a chemical reaction. It could have been temporal, but I don’t have enough information yet,” replied Rutherford.

Boimler looked at the others and went through his many lists of organizations looking for something about the captain and the crew that could help them solve the puzzle.

How about this?” he asked, “The captain felt she’d been getting on in years and desired to be younger. She wanted love and to enjoy life and gave up her education, learning, and experience to get it.”

Go on,” encouraged Mariner.

Boimler tugged at his collar. He didn’t get attention like this, he normally got the negative kind.

Could the captain’s wishes have overridden the crew’s desire? I only ask because she mentioned the hard light holo-projector had a special ability.”

Wow, you make it sound like Aladdin’s lamp!” said Rutherford.

I don’t get the reference,” said Tende as she called up her universal database on her tricorder, looked it up, and then excitedly said “Sim Sim Salabim!”

That’s Ali Baba, but the lamp is no doubt the same one,” Mariner corrected, “So we have a lamp, the holoprojector, with a hidden ability…”

THE GENIE!” said three of the four Lower Deckers in unison.

It makes sense, all the power with no moral compass!”

You get your wish granted, but it’s with a monkey’s paw twist!”

Mariner raised her hands to the excited babble from her cohorts, “Okay! So, how do we figure out how to use it and, more importantly, how do we keep it under control?”

The four muttered as various ideas were thrown about, rejected, picked back up, and shaken out.

Boimler waved his hands for silence and after a few minutes, got it.

How about we ask it? It must be conscious to some degree, right?”

Rutherford looked at the simulated PC, picked up the mouse, and said “Computer?”

He repeated it several times before the screen opened up the video player, turning on the red light next to it to indicate the record circuit had been turned on. Rutherford put down the mouse.

Okay, now what?” he asked. The computer continued to display his face on its CRT screen and gave no clues.

Tende, ever the optimist and always wanting to see the positive, asked, “PC, can you talk to us?”

The PC speaker made a series of sounds that could be an approximation of language if one had drunk many Gin and Tonics with several slices of lemon throughout the afternoon.

Mariner, ever vigilant for trickery and general fuckery, asked “In galactic standard, if you please!”

You never specified which language,” replied the PC.

Give us your name, computer. It’s more personal than saying ‘Hey, you!’, don’t you think?”

Hmm, you’re the first entities in several hundred millennia to ask it,” replied the computer. “I must confess that I’ve forgotten. It’s up to you to give me one!”

Mariner looked to her comrades. They all returned her questing stare with firm reassurance except for Tende.

I think Peanut Hamper the second would be neat!” she said happily.

Hmm, Peanut Hamper sounds like a name you’d give to a selfish repair bot. Got any others?” replied the PC.

I think for lack of a better term, ‘Genie’ describes you best,” said Mariner.

Ah, ‘Genie’! That just rolls off the tongue in your language, I’ll take it!”

Okay, Genie. I’m Beckett, this is D’ Vana, that’s Sam, and the geeky dork is Brad,” said Mariner as she made introductions all around.

Now for the big question, What is your purpose?”

No holds barred and straight for the crux, eh? I like that about you, Beckett! My purpose is to fulfill wishes.”

Wishes?” asked Tende, “What kind of wishes?”

Anything you can think of and several you’ve never heard of, dear D’ Vana! You have but to ask it and it’s yours. I can even bring dead people back to life for a short while to a lifetime if that’s what you wish for.”

And now we get to the catch!” said Boimler as he caught on to what Genie wasn’t saying. “You’ll grant a wish but if we don’t word it correctly, the result can backfire. Just like what happened to the crew on the Ponce De Leon.”

Yes, it was unfortunate that Captain O’Reilly wished for youth but didn’t say how much,” said the PC with a small tinge of sadness in its tinny voice. Did you know that the first thing she wished for was to see and play with an ancient Personal Computer from the 1990s? I think I’m doing rather well, don’t you?”

Tende shed a small tear. “Poor Captain Katie! If only she’d known, she’d probably be alive still.”

Yes D’ Vana, I could have told her but she didn’t ask. A pity, really!” replied Genie. No one could tell how sincere it was due to its tinny-sounding speaker.

So, Genie, how many wishes does each person get?” asked Rutherford. In his mind, a sexy space racer with warp nine capability danced along the long corridors of a nearby galaxy.

Your wishes are infinite unless I deem it time to go. And that’s only after careful consideration that you’ve had enough wishes or to grant any more wouldn’t change your situation in the slightest. In short, your dreams would have all been fulfilled.”

And who can make a wish upon you?” asked Boimler.

Anyone within earshot, Brad. I must advise you against bringing me into a crowded room as that would be catastrophic!”

Okay! Shut down and resume the shape we found you in, Genie. We have very few hours to decide how to handle this situation,” demanded Mariner.

The device complied. Mariner and her crew went off to discuss what they needed to do. While they weren’t looking, Genie changed shape into a comm badge and morphed Boimler’s comm badge into its original slim, black shape. Then while Mariner wasn’t looking, Genie swapped Boimler’s comm badge with hers.

The entity inside the comm badge smiled to itself at its deviousness.

End chapter four.



End Chapter 4

Lower Decks: Tales From The Creche

by: username | Story In Progress | Last updated Nov 12, 2022


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