Black Sapphire gasped and staggered away from the Chronicler. "I... how... why would you show me that?" She jumped at him and grabbed at his collar, and pulled herself up to meet his face, which stared at her impassively. "WHY?!"
"I did not choose that history to show you. I do not know why it showed us that. It should not have been able to. Those were your memories, Mercedes," he replied.
"My history should be none of your business! How was that there?" she screamed.
"The logical explanation is a Cataloger has been to your home universe, before the Cascade had been sealed."
"Then my history was deemed important somehow?" She released him and stepped away. "Then...what happened a few years later makes more sense now. Show me Spectacular and the day he and his Family invaded my universe." The archivist nodded and held out his hand.
SATURDAY SUPER STORIES - STAND ALONE 3 - "Family Matters"
"My name is Richard Reader, and this is my family. My wife, Sadie, her sister, Jordana, and her husband, Robert Garvey." He rolls his eyes. "Everyone calls him Bob." Richard stood before HelixONE, the experimental space craft that he had been building for the better part of five years.
"Our mission today is to pierce the veil, the barrier between worlds. I theorize that with the Helix, I will be able to punch a hole into a parallel universe. Passing through the Kligenberg/Heizenrose Bridge and into the world beyond. There we hope to discover anything that might have caused their path and ours to diverge, and perhaps with enough data I may be able to form a mathematical baseline for our universe and theirs and through that knowledge determine...is anyone actually still listening to me?" One hand rose. He sighed. "Yes, I thank you Jackson. I assume you and your 'covert' group of secret agents is watching intensely."
"Yup, I sure as hell am. Don't want you starting no goddamn war with another people or some shit." Jackson Black stood as he spoke. Several of the people around him snickered. He glared at them, and they stopped. "It's not funny. We sure as hell don't need to be starting anything with no other realities. These powered people that are popping up hither and yon are damned well worrying enough. Definitely do not need any of this shit too."
"I assure you, I have first contact protocols for just such an occasion. I will not be starting 'shit' with another people." He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "This is an exploratory mission. We have stealth gear, and my computer systems are capable are taking the information wirelessly, provided that they have the capabilities for such a thing."
Jackson smirked. "Don't fuck up." He spun on his heel and strode from the auditorium, several people standing and following suit. Reader clenched a fist, his knuckles white.
The HelixONE ripped through the cosmos heading for the Tear in space time that Reader had taken to referring to as the Kaleidoscopic Cascade, named for its blackhole-like qualities, but more for what appeared to be images fractured all along its event horizon. These images when ran through a super computer appeared to be other worlds, different variations of this world.
Bob spoke up from behind him. "Hey boss, we have unexpected company." Reader turned and looked at him incredulously.
"We're in hyper space, nitwit. How do we have company?"
"I dunno, but there's some kind of alien watching us, from over there." He shrugged his head towards the aft of the compartment. "One of those monitoring whatsits pinged him a few minutes ago and then stopped. I had to use dem goggles you crafted to find the...substructure of the...cascade, the things you use to spot the invisible cracks in time/space." He held out another pair. Reader grabbed them out of his hand and put them on.
"So help me, if you are wasting my time on this." He turned his head and sure enough a tall humanoid figure was standing, a glowing stone in his hands, cupped together before him, as if in prayer. "Well, there you go. Get yourself a cookie and leave me alone." Robert turned and yanked the goggles from his head and slammed them on a counter as he stormed out of the room.
"You are aware of me, are you not, Mr. Reader?" It stated.
"Yes." He answered simply, pulling a ray gun from a holster on his side.
"You cannot harm me."
"Oh really?" He aimed and pulled the trigger. A bright purple energy lanced and struck the alien full in the chest. Greenish lightning danced around his form as he was wracked with pain. Reader ripped the goggles off his face, and tossed them next to Garvey.
"What have you done?" It asked, gasping for breath, its body convulsing as the electricity wore down.
"Pulled you into our Space/Time. I hate those goggles and didn't bring my corrective lenses, so this was easier. You are now in my phase-space, so we can talk. So first things first, who the hell are you and what are you doing on my ship?"
It stared back at him impassively. "I am called the Squire; I am of an alien species called the Cataloguers. We watch and record the events of the universes. I am tasked with viewing what is about to occur."
"What is about to occur that is so monumental that it needs to be observed?" Reader asked.
"The first contact and a new people are born this day."
"What?" Suddenly the alarms, proximity and the danger klaxons erupted, and the HelixONE began to violently shake. "What the hell just happened?" Reader screamed and whipped back around, his hands flashing over keys as he tried to right the ship. The voice that replied was in his ear.
"Just because you could not see the images did not mean that they did not start light years from the epicenter of the 'Cascade'. You have already flown into it."
Reader grinned and whispered, "Spectacular..."
"Sadie, Jordana, is everyone alright?" Reader asked through the comm unit he had devised and had built into each of their suits. Sparks shot from the console in front of him, and the ship groaned as it tried to hold itself together.
"This is Jordana. I don't think everything is okay, Richard. We slammed into something as we were crashing but it didn't feel like ground, it had too much give. I’m thinking a building or a... forest maybe. I was on the observation deck with Robert and the place is filled with gray stone. Some of the consoles around me appear to have been melted, or are melting."
"Have you seen Sadie?"
"No she was on the upper deck before impact." Jordana watched as the stone mass began to move.
Reader headed for the lift to the upper deck and stopped. He turned back to the main console and asked the computer a simple question. "How many life forms are on the ship?"
"How many are human?"
"Honey, I think something's wrong with us." Sadie spoke from behind him, his shadow cast on the console, and he turned to see her glowing. She looked beautiful, her skin alight.
"I think something has gone right." Reader replied.
NEXT ON SATURDAY SUPER STORIES - ARCHAEOLOGY 103: Part 1