“DUDE! ARE YOU NUTS?!” Dallas said and then toned it down. “You made her wear clothes?”
“I’m sorry, but I find it somewhat distracting to have an adult conversation with a twelve foot naked woman sitting across from me cross-legged on the floor!”
“You guys are pigs!” Juliette mentioned as she flew back and forth, drifting in and out of our airspace.
“I know! Right? Thats what I’ve been saying!” Alice piped in.
“C’mon guys.” Dallas complained, “Private conversation?”
” You are sitting belly up to MY bar” Juliette said, pulling on a beer tap. “No such thing.”
He just shook his head and sipped his beer. ” So what did she tell you again?”
“That something weird is going to happen to me in the future that concerns the library and the gate. My time line knots up then splits into two.”
“You’re not pregnant are you” he said. Juliette snorted from where she was pouring beer. I gave her some stink eye.
There was some kind of commotion in the crowd. I looked over his shoulder. “Where’s the door gone?”
He glanced over. The wall was back to being a wall. “Nothing to worry about. We are about to land and my ship is configuring itself as an entry way.”
I looked up at the view port. Sure enough, we had stopped moving. A larger entryway materialized. Two wide doors, almost taking up the whole wall.
“What happens now?”
“We Wait. The Librarian is explaining the ground rules to the captain.”
” The library has asked the Captain for permission to update all my navigational databases.” Alice said ” I am a little worried that it might break something.”
“I wouldn’t be too concerned, Alice, the Library has been doing this for millions, if not billions of years.”
“Murray?” Alice said, ” The Captain would like you and Dallas to report to the bridge immediately.”
Dallas finished his beer and we pushed away from the bar. I waved at Juliette and we headed out to the bridge. We took the elevator up, and then sideways into the core of the ship. We passed environmental and engineering, paused at medical and then moved forward towards the center of the ship, and the bridge.
” I take it everything important is in the ships core area?” Dallas said.
” Yeah. When the Great Migration happened, a lot of the new station states manufactured these huge ass warships with all sorts of crazy weapons, but for some reason they placed the command bridge on top. All you had to do was slingshot a decent sized rock at it and you could take out the whole command structure. Pretty stupid way to build a ship, if you ask me.”
“Tell me about this ‘Great migration.’ ” Dallas said
“Not to much to tell. The planet was in mortal danger with 22 billion of us humans on it, all using up every resource we could get our grubby little hands on. Wars were the norm. Then some goober accidentally discovered how gravity works, someone else developed a machine that could transmute elements, basically taking useless crap and turning it in to food and the next thing you know, everyone is moving into space.
They strip mined the Moon, Mars and a lot of asteroids, and created these vast Station States. You would think that this would be the start of a new golden era. You would be in that class of people I like to label as “WRONG”. Wars continued as they always will. Everyone still fighting over resources so vast that they could supply everyone everything for ever. As usual for the human race, no one could let anyone else have something that they didn’t have, so it was the continual war of ‘If YOU have it, WE want it and WE are going to take it.’ Quite depressing actually.”
“What about the Earth?”
“Surprisingly, the Earth began to heal after everyone left. The climate stabilized after about a century. Species long thought extinct started to show up again. Mother Nature buried the deserted cities. The people that stayed behind try to live in peace including your surf worshipers. There are exceptions of course, but over all things are good. I’d actually like to go back for a vacation some day.”
We arrived at the bridge.
The doors opened and there was Captain Suzuki in full dress regalia along with all his top officers. Science and Engineering were represented, all in the crispiest of uniforms. I looked down at my maintenance overalls. They needed a wash. Dallas was wearing an open Hawaiian shirt over a tee shirt advertising “Storm Surf Shop, Tofino” and board shorts.
There was an uncomfortable silence. “You wanted to see us?”
“Apparently you are to lead us through to the Library,” The Captain said ” and have further instructions.”
“Oh yeah!” Dallas said ” I almost forgot! When we get to the entrance, breath deeply when you go through. You will be inhaling nannites.” He saw the looks on everyones faces.
“No don’t worry folks, these wont hurt you, they are actually there for your protection. There are quite a few oxygen dependent species that go through this area, and they all have their weird microbial stuff that drops off of them. The nanns will make sure that the only thing that enters your system is related to your particular biology. A great side effect is that they will fix any damages that your body already has suffered. Except for his liver” he hooked a thumb at me ” too far gone.”
That got a chuckle out of everyone and a stink eye from me.
“And fret not,” he added, ” the nanns only operate in the proximity of the Library, as soon as you leave, the nanns nullify and you just end up pooping then out.”
“Eww” someone in the back said. Everyone chuckled again.
The captain ordered everyone to assemble at the entrance to the pub and dismissed them, then walked over to us.
“This “Librarian” he said ” what can I expect when we meet it?”
“She’s about 12 feet tall, bald, and may or may not be wearing clothing.”
It took about twenty minutes to get everyone assembled in front of the pub entrance.
“I didn’t even know this place existed!” one of the scientists said.
“Really good quasi real Beef dips,” Dallas said, “you should try one.”
The doors swung open and we all walked in. Me and Dallas in the front, grinning like idiots as all the tipsy patrons applauded. Juliette was cleaning a glass smiling at us as she shook her head in amazement.
The Captain and XO were a couple of paces behind us marching stiffly. The military crew was keeping pace with the captains step. The science and engineering squad, not so much.
Dallas made a hand gesture, arm up and out ahead of him two middle fingers held down by thumb, index and pinkie up. “By the power of Metallica! I command thee!”
The doors swung outward from the pub and we proceeded through. As the noise from the pub diminished, I could here everyone breathing deeply as we proceeded down what was now a long hallway.
It took about three minutes to get through the entrance. I gasped in wonder and everyone else made a similar kind of noise as we strode through the other side and ended up in a massive hall.
The air was warm and smelled sweet, like a squeeeee gun had just been used. Everyone made it in and we all mulled about marveling at the architecture.
Then suddenly she was there.
“I am the Librarian!”
And yep, she was naked……