Despite all those lovely SFX, Part 21 went down like a lead balloon. I’m rather hoping this one will do better. It’s also a bit SFX heavy, so I’m not hopeful. Obviously readers like the silly exchanges between characters more. I don’t blame them: those are more fun to write too! Anyway, read on…
Two hours later the Prowler and the Goosewing Grey departed Scroton…
Once free of Weird Space, the crew of the Goosewing Grey opened a hyperspace conduit…
…and, with the Prowler in hot pursuit, they plunged their vessel into it.
“Well that’s the tricky part sorted,” Barclay said as they watched the tail lights of the Goosewing Grey bob about in the unusually turbulent conduit. “Now all we need do is move the Veil of Shytar several billion kilometres – before the star explodes.”
“Piece of cake.” Bubbles replied.
“Hardly a piece of cake.” Barclay scoffed. “More likely impossible.”
“No, a piece of cake.” Bubbles insisted. “I stole two slices of lemon drizzle from a buffet in the Hotel Guano. I knew we wouldn’t get a chance to eat. Fancy some?”
However, an hour or so into the flight Bubbles detected an anomaly…
“Do you feel buffeting?” She inquired of Barclay
Barclay had, but he assumed it was caused by Bubbles’ fidgeting as she tried to make her bottom comfortable upon the pilot’s chair / toilet. “Yes,” he replied, “are you saying it isn’t you?”
Bubbles first thought was, ‘How the heck could I cause the ship to shake? Even if I wiggled my bum from side to side and hopped up and down, I couldn’t create buffeting!’ Instead she moved on:
“Yes.” She answered Barclay’s question, “I am. Something outside is doing it.”
“But this is hyperspace.” Barclay argued. “There isn’t anything outside. Strictly speaking there isn’t anything at all. Hyperspace is the absence of space/time.”
“Okay,” Bubbles said, following a pause to think further, “something is making hyperspace shake – and that’s what’s buffeting the Prowler.”
By now the buffeting had worsened. “I’m inclined to agree.” Barclay said as he checked for any signs of the hull rupturing or bolts undoing themselves. “And, look: the Goosewing Grey is having a hard time keeping an even keel!”
It was at that moment that the Scrotonic ship contacted them. Two Cable Ends appeared on the front viewer…
“This is Captain Bonzer Dragonsrectum.” Bonzer introduced himself. “Are you having difficulties?”
Bubbles confessed that they were and that she was beginning to feel decidedly ‘icky’.
“That’s what I thought,” Bonzer replied to this. “It appears that the hyperspace conduit is becoming unstable. If we don’t depart it before it collapses, we may never re-enter normal space. Thought you ought to know.”
“What’s causing it?” Barclay asked.
“It would take a massive upheaval in regular space to affect a conduit.” The green-eyed cable end beside Bonzer answered. “That’s why, as science officer aboard the Goosewing Grey, I’m loathe to drop back into normal space willy-nilly. I have no idea what we’ll find there.”
Bubbles checked the Prowler’s chronometer. “It won’t be long before we have to exit anyway.” She said. “We’re coming up on the location of the Veil of Shytar.”
“It’s just as well.” Bonzer replied. “I don’t think this conduit can hang together much longer. Prepare for emergence into normal space.”
A few seconds later the two ships burst from the conduit – just as it began to collapse…
“Yikes, that was close.” Barclay shouted over the noise of cheering cable ends that erupted from the communicator. “Now let’s see where we are.”
Well he didn’t have to look far…
…dead ahead the strange cosmic curtain hung like a…um…curtain against a backdrop of stars.
Aboard the Goosewing Grey, its commander and crew received their first sight of the Veil of Shytar…
“Hmmm,” the Science Officer reacted calmly, “I can see how it got its name: my sphincter is already puckering.”
“No time for fear and trepidation.” Bonzer responded to this minor confession. “You have the con: I’m going to check out the Gravitonic Multiplicitor…”
However, as he emerged from the bridge into the back room in which the Tankerville Norris had always housed its Gravitonic Multiplicitor…
…he remembered that the class of vessels had undergone a refit and that the wondrous device now lay hidden in the forward sensor array.
“Blast and bugger it.” He hissed. “If I go back in now, they’re all going to know that I forgot about the refit. I’m gonna look like a real prat. I know, I’ll just hang around out here for a while; then pretend that I’ve been down to the forward sensor array. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.”
A few minutes later, having quickly grown bored inside the near featureless room, Captain Bonzer Dragonsrectum returned to the bridge and sat himself down…
The Science Officer couldn’t resist passing comment. “That was quick.”
“I’m a fast worker.” Bonzer replied.
“But its two and a half minutes there and two and a half minutes back.” The argument proceeded. “You’ve only been three and a half minutes total.”
“I ran all the way there and all the way back. Like I said: I’m a fast worker.”
“Yet you’re not out of breath and you don’t perspire freely.”
“I keep myself lithe and super-fit. A dash to the sensor array and back is like a stroll in the park to someone like me.”
“Indeed? Then how is that you allowed yourself into the sensor array, yet I have the key to the hatch in my pocket?”
Bonzer spent several panic-stricken nanoseconds considering his response. “Rank hath its privileges.” He snapped. “Now shut up and scan the space anomaly: I wanna know how much bulk we gotta push.”
“Already done, Captain,” The Science Officer replied. “No data. The Veil of Shytar repels all scans – remember?”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022
Well that episode included fabulous SFX with entertaining silly exchanges between characters: how could you not like that!
P.S As I expect you noticed, both interior and exterior shots of the Goosewing Grey were actually the bridge set and model of the Tankerville Norris. Continuity is very important: but not as important as saving me time and effort making new sets and models!