Chapter 2 ~ Recruits and Strays

 

SpaceDog and his crew of hybrid dachshunds find themselves with a new companion making preparations for a journey into the unknown. Sidrat, the Artificial Intelligence that controls the quasi-dimensional time ship, continues to recruit new members.


SpaceDog keeps mumbling something about needing crew members for the journey that is about to take place and decides to call on his Godchild. A week earlier, he had placed an ad for a job knowing that she was getting restless and the time of awakening was coming. She is not aware of who he is but he has been watching over her since before she was born. Feeling the time was right, he parks the QETS in orbit over London [Earth] and gets on the telecommunications device and calls her.

Lindsey Smith is cleverly portrayed as weak with no ability to defend herself, but, in reality, possesses a very influential personality in an unsuspecting way. Her light brown hair is incandescent and eye-catching. Her eyes are different and change from purple to red depending on her mood. She likes to wear boots; leather pants with black stripes down the sides and her smart black leather jacket trimmed with red lapels. Her attire dominants and makes her stand out in a crowd.

[SpaceDog]  Greetings Captain Smith. This is Commander SpaceDog calling you from Geo-sync orbit over 'North 30°30'19.3  x West 84°13'55.6.'  I read just now that you are looking for a job as an interpreter and have some skills as a negotiator. Is this correct?

[LeeZee]      Yes, that is correct.  I am looking for work but unlike the boring desk job I have now. I'm looking to do some traveling. What do you have to offer? 

I get excited at the prospect of getting out of town.

[SpaceDog]  Tell me, Captain Smith, where did you get the title of captain? Have you been in the service of a boat or airship? Are you a pilot? What are your navigational skills? Ever fired a plasma rifle in the 100 kilo Jewel range or used a quantum entanglement device? You do know about quantum entanglement, right? OK, go look it up, I'll wait. 

Quickly I look up quantum entanglement on my work computer and read how, '23 Corgi's explain Quantum Entanglement.'

[LeeZee]      Dad gave me the title of 'captain' the first time sailing. Been on many boats and yes, I'm a licensed pilot so I can navigate. Never fired a plasma rifle? No to quantum entanglement, whatever that is, but looking it up now.

[SpaceDog]  That was fast, I'm impressed. Your hired!

I hear a knock on my office door and before I can get out of my chair, the door opens and a man in an old wool tuxedo enters holding out his hand.

[SpaceDog]  Greetings Lindsey Smith, I'm Commander SpaceDog.


Taking on a Stray

A QETS portal materializes in the lobby of a hotel where a Japanese anime' convention is being held. SpaceDog opens one of the portals just as a young woman around the age of 25 walks in holding a ticket to the event along with a box of doughnuts and 2 cups of coffee. She is dressed in a scruffy sweater, jeans and a cat ear headband.

[SpaceDog]  How did you? Where did you come from? Are you the one who disabled the quasi-dimensional portal lock? Well I never thought it possible. First Lady Robin finds her way into my time ship and now you... Wait! Why are you looking so wide eyed? I know that it's smaller on the outside than on the inside. What did you expect? Did Sidrat call you? She is one fickle time machine A.I... Is that fresh coffee?

I stand in a hexagonally shaped room with twin doors on every other wall and an octagonal shaped center. There are lots of blinking lights and a large crystalline ball... The ceiling is nothing but stars and the floor is missing... Oh My God, I think I am looking down about 100 meters into an Olympic-size pool. Adjusting to the dim light, I notice a bald man in a black tuxedo standing next to a stylish shoulder length redhead in a semi short skirt, fishnet stockings and a radiant glowing blouse.

[Lady Robin]  Did you bring donuts? Oh and you brought coffee! I can smell it from across the room!

The woman runs over to me and snatches the box of freshly baked doughnuts out of my hand...

[Lady Robin]  Hello, I'm Robin and that's SpaceDog. SpaceDog is a Star Lord and Commander of this vessel. Are you here just to make a delivery or are you looking for an adventure?

Robin places a small gold coin in my hand. I'm thinking 'this is not the virtual game room I imagined, but... this feels really cool' as I pinch myself and feel pain.

I look at the coin, back up at the woman and the man before my eyes. I am in shock thinking they went all out for this convention. I notice a long couch with a dozen different sized upright dachshunds; their eyes glowing as they look at me. A bit bewildered with my heavy Scottish accent...

[Panda  Kitti] I'm Amanda-Marie... What exhibit is this? How did you do all this? Is this virtual reality? 

After Robin finishes munching on a second doughnut, she licks her fingers, carefully scrutinizes me, takes my hand and leads me across the room where the man is standing.

[Lady Robin]  It's not an exhibit, it's a portable time ship. We'll let the Star Lord have his coffee and you can come with me! It’s NOT virtual. It’s REAL. This place is better and bigger than Meadowhall shopping mall in Sheffield. 

Robin hands a coffee to SpaceDog and takes me to a door on the other side of the room.

[Lady Robin]  SpaceDog, we're off to the EMO wardrobe to get some duds for this clueless lady that smells like she just came from an anime convention in a 3 star hotel.

As I'm pushed into one of the doors, SpaceDog shouts, 

[SpaceDog]   You are in my magnificent Quantum Entanglement Time Ship. You're in good hands. It's a quasi-dimensional machine.... 

SpaceDog's voice is silenced as the door closes and the lift goes up twelve levels, instantly and soundlessly.

I hear something by my feet and notice one of the dogs. In my head I hear,

[Trixie telepath] 'Just making sure Robin does not lead you astray.'

[Lady Robin] As if I will get lost with you following us. I do have a map, Trixie!}

She waves her phone in the air. The dog then speaks in English as Robin looks at her phone,

[Trixie]     Yes mistress, that is correct. My name is Trixie and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Robin turns to me.

[Lady Robin]  Don't mind the dog. I'll explain later. I'm new to all this entanglement traveling stuff, but this big box has 32 levels and 540 doors. I am taking you to one of the many wardrobes where there are... well you'll see. Here we turn left, and at the third door, no wait it's the double doors on the left... and...

We both stop. A sign on the double door say [EMO 2050]. Robin opens the two huge doors and I see racks of dresses, skirts, blouses, shorts, underwear, pants, jackets, shawls, sweaters, hats, shoes, corsets of silk and leather with chokers. There are kitty, dog, and bunny ears; maid outfits, school uniforms, chests full of jewelry and I think 'Is this a Joke? Did I win the lottery? Is this a cosplay lovers dream come true or what?’

I get lost in the excitement of seeing these fabulous clothes. Robin and I spend a long time looking for the right thing for me to wear that matches my personality. I am trying on things but begin to get a bit nervous. It takes time adjusting to this new situation. I finally exchange my scruffy sweater and jeans for a one piece jumpsuit I swear I’ve seen it in the anime series, 'Asobi ni Ikuyo' aka Cat Planet Cuties. When I button the sleeves it clings to my body like that of a slinky looking gamer. I’m looking in a mirror and feel Robin’s eyes gawking at my figure as she picks up a gauntlet.

[Lady Robin]  Wow! Don't you look fab? Try this on.

She is about to hand over the gauntlet.

[Lady Robin]  Wait, look over there.

She points to a table. I notice a large cat bell attached to a collar. I'm not sure how, but we both know it’s for changing my appearance. After putting it on my neck, I touch it,

[Panda  Kitti]  Make me a human cat.

Nothing happens. 

[Panda  Kitti]  Make me a Cat Alien.

Slowly a feeling comes over me as my body transforms. I sprout furry cat ears and suddenly feel I’ve got a tail.

[Lady Robin shoutsOh My Goddess! You have a tail! and the marking on the fur make you look like a panda!

Turning around to look in the mirror on the wall, I don't recognize the catwoman with panda markings standing with a huge grin from cat ear to cat ear in the reflection. Robin giggles and strokes my tail. The dog, Trixie is about to bark and seizes up, shaking her snout, then heads back to the lift. I decide this is the look I've always wanted. Trixie mumbles,

[Trixie]           You look like a skinny panda cat.

[Lady Robin]  The big question Panda Kitti, now that you are a cat women is... What are you going to do with that gold coin? Would you like to go on an adventure with us? The adventure is not virtual and, more importantly, when (in time) would you like to travel? After all, Commander SpaceDog said he can travel anyplace at any time in the universe in this ship.

I ponder the question for a few moments and think.

[Panda  Kitti telepath] 'Oh, My God! I want to see...or maybe...

[Panda  Kitti]  Could we possibly go to Alfheim? It is a land of elves, fairies and magic.

[Panda  Kitti excitedOr, perhaps  feudal Japan? Meow!

I'm bursting with excitement, as my new tail swishes and my ears twitch. There are an endless list of possibilities, I think whilst walking back to in the lift. As we descend, Robin tells me about her first encounter with the commander. In my head, I begin to hear her thoughts before she speaks them. When the lift door opens SpaceDog is standing there waiting…

[Panda  Kitti]  Meow. Could we possibly go to Alfheim? It is a land of fairy’s and magic…Meow or feudal Japan?

I say bursting with excitement as my new tail swishes, ears twitch with the endless list of... In a firm voice shaking his head SpaceDog says,

[SpaceDog]   The Bell!, Ta'al's Bell. How did you learn how to use it?

[Panda  Kitti excited]   Meow? Did I do something wrong? Meow!

[SpaceDog]   Who told you we are going to Ljosalfheim?

[Trixie barks]  It’s her tail, master! She became THAT type of a Cat and now she can read our minds just like you, me and Sidrat can. She found Ta'al's Cat Bell Multifunction Organizer in the wardrobe on level twelve and used it.

Trixie goes over to the couch and jumps up on it between to Rosemary-chan Bon and AC/DC and whispers to them,

[Trixie whispersI hope she can control that damn bell better than the last owner, otherwise, the cats out of the bag.

SpaceDog walks around me several times and grabs my tail aggressively. An electric shock goes up my spine and I almost faint while all my fur stands straight out on end.

[Panda Kitti]  MEOW OWE!!!

[Lady Robin]   What did you do that for?

[SpaceDog]   I just adjusted her telepathic abilities till we can teach her to control her tail. Cataliens are very curious about everything and that could get us into trouble if she doesn’t get a grip. The term ‘Get a Grip’ is Catalien in origin and is taught to kit's early in life? Sidrat!

[Sidrat]   'Yes Commander'

[SpaceDog]   We need to get to the Cardiff Time Rift at North 50°28’29.92” x West 3°10’30.28” elevation 24ft, Time 00:00.01 GMT on Earth date 24th of December, 1621 EAD with an immediate quantum entanglement to Ljosalfheim 00001.04022 x 1.2^666 x 3.

[Sidrat]   'Sorry Commander. We can go to the time rift, but you will need to adjust the dark matter energy converter key to the 3rd realm with Minds Eyes' help in order to get to Alfheim.'

SpaceDog shakes his head from side to side and goes to the iris in the floor next to the control station.

[SpaceDog]    Robin, could you keep our guest out of trouble? Please read up on how to ‘Get a Grip’ from that Information Terminal. This is going to take me only a few moments, but I will be with The Minds Eye next to the artificial singularity that powers this portable rainbow bridge. It may be a few days, Okay?

[Lady Robin]   Aye, aye, captain.


The Galley

Robin strokes my tail.

[Lady Robin]  Should we have some fun or get some food first? This place has a huge galley with everything you could imagine to eat...

My stomach growls and I blush.

[Panda Kitti]  Meow can we eat? I’m so hungry meow! What happened to the donuts, meow? 

[Lady Robin]   SpaceDog ate them and I think he gave some to the hounds. 

The hounds sit with large grins on their faces. Robin takes me to the galley. I stare in awe at all the different food. Suddenly, my nose starts to twitch and I follow a delightful aroma to a pot of Kedgeree. I smile, look up at Robin and swish my tail. A smell overtakes my senses from the Kedgeree... a dish based on Indian Khichri. 


[Panda Kitti]  Meow, who's cooked this delicious smelling traditional English breakfast dish? Meow. The aroma of smoked white fish, rice and eggs smells divine. Meow. 

[Patty Smith]  That would be my doing, mistress, or should I call you Panda Kitti? Sidrat thought this recipe would appeal to your cat nature and be something for Mistress Robin to try. I'm Patty Smith. 

I step back and almost crash into a row of pots and pans when I see a 20kg, full size dachshund with short black fur. Her head has long white fur. She's standing over the big pot sprinkling herbs into it. One of her ears is shredded and there is a mechanical device implanted into her paw that makes it easy for holding the large spoon she's using to prepare the Kedgeree.

[Patty Smith]  It's only going to be another moment till it's ready. Get a bowl and make yourselves comfortable. There are five types of milk in the Rotaregirfer; cows, goat, almond, flax and soy. 

She points to a tall round container suspended from the ceiling with what looks like cow udders on the bottom. Robin looks at me and then at the milk jugs while shaking her head.

[Lady Robin]   That has got to be the strangest dispenser I've ever seen. Is SpaceDog a pervert or what?

Patty Smith quickly replies.

[Patty Smith]  I designed that container and its 100% efficient as a dispenser of liquid refreshments for me and the crew. I put a lot of thought into its design. Not all of us can reach up onto high shelves or open heavy doors mistress. 

Between the kedgeree, milk and dog, my feline senses go wild. I can't decide what to do.  Suddenly, I pounce on a little mouse I see out the corner of my eye. I catch the mouse and let it go then re-catch it. I amuse myself with this as I wait for the scrumptious smelling kedgeree.

[Patty Smith]  I think this is the first time I've ever seen a cat pass up milk! 

The cyborg dachshund takes the pot off the stove.

[Patty Smith]  Ok Panda Kitti. Yes, that's your name from now on. Would you please stop playing with Timothy Little. I'm sure he was just cleaning up any rice or crumbs I spilled while making your tea. 

I refuse to put the mouse down and Robin tries to hand me a large lightweight bowl. She scoops up a portion of kedgeree, sniffs it and turns to Patty.

[Lady Robin]   Did you put catnip in this? 

The bitch looks away and tries to hide the spice she used when I notice a container labeled Nepeta Cataria : catnip.

Suddenly a woman appears at the end of the table.

[LeeZee]      Is that Kedgeree?


LeeZee

Captain Lindsey Smith looks back over her shoulder and wonders what just happened...

Just before he vanished, I remember Commander SpaceDog asking to see my smart phone and replaced the battery with a glowing chip,

[SpaceDog]   That's a 'special chip' and never needs recharging because it runs off quantum entanglement. You will soon get a call from Sidrat, but for now...

I look back at the office building I just came from and the facade has changed... My phone begins to chirp with a sound that I've never heard. Glancing at the screen, an octagon with a spinning hexagon icon begins to blink. The name Sidrat appears below it on the screen. I press the icon and I hear a sweet female voice. 

[Sidrat]       I'll tell you, the QETS lets you understand the language of any animate creature; human, alien, animal, but not plants or small insects. Wish it could teach a thing or three to some tree-huggers and a Barker we've come across. SpaceDog thinks you will be a fine addition to our gang of misfit travelers and that you will be a great companion. The position is yours if you're interested and we know you are. I can sense that you have negotiation skills and that will come in handy when we meet Light Elves. What they say is one thing, but what they mean is completely something else. Still interested?

Before thinking, I hear myself.

[LeeZee thinking] 'that is enough I am on'

[LeeZee]     When do we leave? Wait, did you say Light Elves? 

Sidrat's voice clearly inside my head.

[Sidrat telepath]      'Yes, Light Elves. Now close your eyes and tap your heels together three times and say the words "I am on" and get ready for quantum entanglement. You are hungry?' 

I go through the motions like in the Wizard of Oz,

[LeeZee]    “I am on, I am on, I am on

I feel a bit disoriented. I can smell the aroma of smoked white fish, rice and eggs and aloud, I say,

[LeeZee]     Is that Kedgeree? 

When I open my eyes, I am next to a table in a huge kitchen with a pot on a stove and a redhead wearing a radiant glowing blouse with a dark skirt. There is a female human cat with fuzzy ears and tail holding a mouse by its tail while a large dachshund with a mechanical paw is putting a container of catnip, on a shelf. The smartly dressed woman pours a portion of the contents from the pot into a bowl. I hear the same sweet female voice coming from everywhere.

[Sidrat]      'Everyone, this is Captain Lindsey Smith. I will allow you all to introduce yourselves.'

[Patty Smith]  Do you have a nickname? 

The dog closes the pantry door.

[LeeZee]       Oh yes. You can call me LeeZee. I come from Philly and ready for this journey. Sidrat told me something about Light Elves and I will be equipped with a special capability of reading their minds and ignore whatever they are saying. Wait, did that bitch just talk to me?

[Patty Smith]  Yes mistress LeeZee! I am Patty Smith, a canine bitch, but I am NOT a Bitch. I am also a hybrid and the QETS does give us the power to understand or speak any language after passing through one of the portals or entangling into this time ship.

The woman with her nose nearest the pot looks at me and I can feel her admiring my compact physique.

[Lady Robin]   I love your outfit. I'm Robin. 

I walk up to the alien catwoman holding a mouse by it's tail and casually stroke her ears.

[LeeZee]     And who or what are you? 

[Panda Kitti]   Hello meow! I'm Panda Kitti meow! This collar and bell on my neck turned me into an alien cat when I asked it to, meow! Just be careful, meow! If you touch the tail I'll hear everything you are thinking, meow!

[LeeZee]     Okay, Patty? Any vegetarian dishes here?

[Patty Smith]  Well the dishes are not organic, they are made of opherinite, but I do have a non-meat product chocolate cake if you're interested in sustenance, Mistress LeeZee, would that do? 

[LeeZee]     Yes, that would do nicely and thank you. 

Under my breath I think, 'What have I gotten myself into this time? Talking dogs and cat aliens, this is unbelievable' In my head I hear Sidrat.

[Sidrat telepath]       'This is going to be the best adventure you've ever had, or at least the most interesting and I need to tell you something about yourself but that can wait till later!'


The Power Source Controls

Two arns earlier:  Time 13:44hrs
SpaceDog shakes his head and goes to the open Iris in the floor next to the control station. 

[SpaceDog]  Robin, could you keep our guest out of trouble? Please read up on how to ‘Get a Grip’ from that Information Terminal. This is going to take me only a few moments, but I will be with The Minds Eye next to the artificial singularity that powers this portable rainbow bridge. It may be a few days, Okay?

[Lady Robin]   Aye, aye, captain.

Putting his thumb on a pad, SpaceDog enters his print code that allows him onto Level Zero, where the Minds Eye A.I. controls the power to travel through both time and space. The lift passes straight through the saltwater Olympic size pool, down into the darkness below the water, past the matter/energy converter and finally stops at a sealed door with a sign that reads,

CAUTION: DARK MATTER COMPONENTS BEYOND THIS DOOR

[SpaceDog]   Minds Eye, open the door code Emit104022.4474

[Minds Eye]  Code, voice and DNAs-t&a confirmed Star Lord Freyr

A very large and heavy, vault like door, opens into a chamber. When the first door closes, a second door opens into a round room.

[Minds Eye]   For your safety, first turn the nine locking pillars to the unlock position before changing the Realm Key.

SpaceDog goes over to the first one meter tall pillar and points the arrow away from the artificial singularity chamber. After turning each of the nine locking pillars, he opens a panel using the Valknut around his neck.  Inside the panel, there are nine large-rods buttons, the first and third are pushed in all the way. He pulls those rods out and a loud bell begins chiming.

[Minds Eye]   Realm reset complete, Commander.

SpaceDog pushes the first and second rods in at the same time and the bell stops.

[Minds Eye]   The third realm is now set. You may now reopen the iris.

The commander wipes the sweat off his brow and closes the panel. He walks up to the first pillar and turns the arrow back toward the center. When  the last pillar is turned, the lights in the room dim momentarily and then return to normal.

[SpaceDog]   Minds Eye! Any problems?

[Minds Eye]   No commander. The Eye is now set to take us to the third realm and the coordinates entered. I am in the process of reprogramming the realm keys so this procedure will no longer be necessary. Shall I initiate the Space & Time jump?

[SpaceDog]   Wait till I'm back in the control room and let Sidrat take control.

SpaceDog looks around the room and then locks the door on his way out. Once he starts the lift back to the primary control center he says,

[SpaceDog]   Sidrat, when I get back to control, tell me the elapsed time from descent to ascent. You got that?

[Sidrat]        Affirmative, Star Lord Freyr!

05:20hrs, two arns after entering the shaft, SpaceDog watches the iris open on the last part of the journey between level zero and the primary control center.

[Sidrat]        Commander, 47 arns and 24 milliarns have elapsed. Shall I gather the crew?

[SpaceDog]   Not now. Have Patty make me a sushi roll, fatty tuna and flebber and tell her to use Fornax black rice. I'm starving and have not eaten since we were on Fornax Prime.

SpaceDog walks to one of the walls, opens a small door and pulls out a cobalt bottle. He opens it and drinks the contents in one go, followed by a loud burp before he sits on the couch where two of the dachshunds are waiting patiently for his return....
 
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