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Temporal Knowledge

Posted on Sat Jan 4th, 2020 @ 2:54pm by Ensign Jane Sinclair

Mission: At the Hour of Sanctification
Location: Jane Sinclair’s quarters
Timeline: Several hours after “What Lies Beyond” and “Void Space”, before return to Golovin

It hadn’t been a long day, but it had been a tiring one.

Ensign Jane Sinclair had slept on the mattress in the shuttlebay spare parts storage room, and probably could have benefited from an extra hour or two. But instead she attended the staff meeting, operated the helm station for a few hours, in time for them to drop out of slipstream and release probes around the Gargantua, and then spent more hours in the shuttlebay putting the nacelle of runabout Ypres back together. Unfortunately, when she was finished reassembling the nacelle, she was left with four extra pieces. The nacelle worked perfectly, but where did they fit into the puzzle?

She was annoyed and couldn’t let it go. She would solve this, even if she needed to take the nacelle apart all over again.

But first, a quick rest and a meal.

She replicated a ham and cheese sandwich and some French fries, hung her uniform jacket on the back of a chair, and sat down to eat and catch up on paperwork. The one thing she hadn’t counted on when she accepted her senior officer position was the paperwork. She knew, logically, it would exist. But she never realized how much of it there would be. Or how tedious it would be.

So she sat at the dining table in her quarters, half a sandwich in one hand, PADD in the other, doing work she had no desire to do, but it was the price of flying.

A few minutes into it, Jane’s PADD began malfunctioning. The next was suddenly corrupted. The device refused to display what she was asking for. “Stupid PADD,” she cursed

Random files kept jumping onto the screen. A report from biolab 2. A manifest for cargo bay 4. Some half-finished novel written by a dull young man in engineering. An old spy novel. Every time she closed one, a new one would appear. Another cargo manifest, but with a date of...October 2390?

The temporal anomalies plaguing the ship worked in strange ways, apparently. Some people disappeared and came back four months pregnant. Some people just show up out of the blue.

Jane gets a time traveling PADD. Or possibly a PADD whose locks on the old restricted temporal database were in flux. She’d heard Calvin was going to reset passcodes; maybe this was a result of that effort, combined with the anomaly? The silently cursed his bad reset job as she tried to work.

She continued closing files, hoping the corruption would end. But it persisted as she ate her sandwich. ‘King Lear’. A recipe for lobster bisque. A computer code that looked like a holodeck program. Another science report. A newspaper dated 2 September 2391.

That one caught Jane’s eye.

Surely a bit of news couldn’t hurt? She might make herself seem incredibly insightful, correctly ‘guessing’ how a political scandal might go, or who would win the Nobel Prize or the Premier League. She’d need to read it first to find out.

She knew that she was technically violating TI regulations...but they’d never know. She shrugged and read on.

The first page story was about the upcoming elections on Vulcan, Bajor, and Betazed. Apparently some new anti-Federation party was gaining steam. Not to self: don’t underestimate the Neo-Constructionists, she thought. The next page featured several stories about recent Starfleet maneuvers. A celebration of the USS London making port to much fanfare on New Hague. The launch celebration of the newest Vesta-class ship.

In hindsight, she should have stopped reading. Because she could never unsee what was on page 3.

Bodies still being identified after attack on Proxima

The report described a terrorist attack on her home that had happened four days earlier. Thirty-two people were killed when someone linked to a terrorist group whose name she didn’t recognize sabotaged the engine of a troop transport in the Maintenance Yards where so many of her family worked. Another seventy-nine were injured, most seriously. Obituaries for those who died could be found on page 32.

She couldn’t stop herself. She needed to know. She flipped through the document to page 32, and within twenty seconds set the PADD on the table and started to cry.


Ensign Jane Sinclair
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Shanghai


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