Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Star Trek '12: 2412 AD - Nexus
A ribbon of brilliant light flashed through the sky, and Ellis stared up in wonder. It was the outward manifestation of the Nexus, a gateway to the reality of your choice. Federation scientists had been studying it for years, ever since the report of Jean-Luc Picard that said James T. Kirk, or a version of him, could still be found there. Kirk was a Starfleet legend, who saved the galaxy a hundred times over, died twice in the line of duty, thanks to the Nexus, and the best part was, having once entered this portal, there remained a copy of him inside it, as Picard noted of an El-Aurian friend of his. The best part was, since Picard had entered the Nexus himself, there was a copy of him there, too.
Ellis had been fascinated by the notion of meeting his hero from the moment he’d read the report, part of standard Starfleet Academy paradox training, the last course of study he’d undertaken before dropping out to further explore the possibility of experiencing the Nexus himself. Thanks to standard spatial analysis, he knew precisely where and when the Nexus would next appear, and he intended to be present, no matter the risk.
He knew that he could not simply pilot a ship into the ribbon, that the ribbon had to be the inciting factor, otherwise he would simply be smashed into oblivion, and lose his chance and life on a reckless and meaningless collision. He signed aboard a Niberite Alliance trade vessel at the first opportunity, and used his spare time to calculate the best possible location for him to wait when 2412 finally came.
He ended up choosing a small moon in the Rigel system, where he could wait in an old mining outpost. The moment it passed overhead, Ellis hopped into his shuttlecraft and took off, hoping he could pull ahead of it without being affected by its gravitational force, which had wrecked many other ships in the past, including the one Kirk was helping to commission during his first encounter with the ribbon, and first death. Since by its nature the Nexus could not be tracked by conventional methods, this was the best he could hope for, counting on blind chance. He did not want to risk the mania others had succumbed to on similar quests.
The shuttlecraft was rocked violently, but Ellis held his composure. He’d made enough modifications to ensure his safety on this voyage, adapting Tholian technology in what he considered to be clever and innovative ways, perhaps prize-winning, if he failed in his real goal. Still, the vibrations were brutal, and Ellis found that he was glad that there had been little time to eat that day. His nerves, already getting the best of him the night before, so that he’d gotten little sleep on top of missing several other meals, were attempting to match the pull of the ribbon, so that he was no longer sure what caused his own movements. His mind was too fuzzy to be sure of anything. That was why he’d planned it out well in advance, so he would not have to rely on himself in the moment, much less the possibility of a malfunctioning computer.
Finally, Ellis thought that he could feel the ribbon itself, even through the bulkhead, its dazzling heat a kind of comforting embrace. Control panels all around him were starting to pop, sending electrical fires and smoke into the cabin, threatening to suffocate him, and he could not control his shaking hands long enough to suppress any of it, much less utter a verbal command. The view outside the nearest port was too blinding, and Ellis was afraid that he was going to pass out.
It was almost like a gentle nudge, the faint sensation that radiated all around him, and suddenly Ellis was back at the Academy, sitting in class and studying that report again, and he looked up, lost in thought, and almost didn’t register the fact that his instructor was holding court with a colleague, ignoring the cadets, lost in some shared adventure, something about jumping horses over a ravine, some kind of miracle, and a smile came over his face. He had made it.