Truth And Consequences!
Chapter Description: Mariner and her fellow Lower Decks companions solve the mystery of the "regressed to impress" crew.
what do we know about what happened to the crew?” asked Mariner.
all regressed into nothingness. Some faster than others,” said
wasn’t caused by biological, nanotech, or a chemical reaction. It
could have been temporal, but I don’t have enough information yet,”
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.
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.”
on,” encouraged Mariner.
tugged at his collar. He didn’t get attention like this, he
normally got the negative kind.
the captain’s wishes have overridden the crew’s desire? I only
ask because she mentioned the hard light holo-projector had a special
you make it sound like Aladdin’s lamp!” said Rutherford.
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!”
Ali Baba, but the lamp is no doubt the same one,” Mariner
corrected, “So we have a lamp, the holoprojector, with a hidden
GENIE!” said three of the four Lower Deckers in unison.
makes sense, all the power with no moral compass!”
get your wish granted, but it’s with a monkey’s paw twist!”
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?”
four muttered as various ideas were thrown about,
rejected, picked back up, and shaken out.
waved his hands for silence and after a few minutes, got it.
about we ask it? It must be conscious to some degree, right?”
looked at the simulated PC, picked up the mouse, and said “Computer?”
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.
now what?” he asked. The computer continued to display his face on
its CRT screen and gave no clues.
ever the optimist and always wanting to see the positive, asked, “PC,
can you talk to us?”
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.
ever vigilant for trickery and general fuckery, asked “In galactic
standard, if you please!”
never specified which language,” replied the PC.
us your name, computer. It’s more personal than saying ‘Hey,
you!’, don’t you think?”
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!”
looked to her comrades. They all returned her questing stare with
firm reassurance except for Tende.
think Peanut Hamper the second would be neat!” she said happily.
Peanut Hamper sounds like a name you’d give to a selfish repair
bot. Got any others?” replied the PC.
think for lack of a better term, ‘Genie’ describes you best,”
‘Genie’! That just rolls off the tongue in your language, I’ll
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.
for the big question, What is your purpose?”
holds barred and straight for the crux, eh? I like that about you,
Beckett! My purpose is to fulfill wishes.”
asked Tende, “What kind of wishes?”
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.”
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.”
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?”
shed a small tear. “Poor Captain Katie! If only she’d known,
she’d probably be alive still.”
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.
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.
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.”
who can make a wish upon you?” asked Boimler.
within earshot, Brad. I must advise you against bringing me into a
crowded room as that would be catastrophic!”
Shut down and resume the shape we found you in, Genie. We have very
few hours to decide how to handle this situation,” demanded
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
entity inside the comm badge smiled to itself at its deviousness.