Chapter Two


Snaps back, wash after wash! - by Greg Hartman

"Heh heh heh..." whispered a voice in Todd's ear.

Todd whirled, throwing up an arm to defend himself.

The bridge was empty.

"That voice sounds suspiciously familiar," he thought. "Who is that? Where are you?" he said.

"It's me--Greg," snickered the voice in his ear again. "Look behind you."

Todd whirled again and saw Greg on the viewscreen. Behind him lurked a dark, smoky Klingon bridge, which had always reminded Todd more of a barbeque restaurant with no exhaust fans rather than the bridge of a starship.

"What are you doing on a Klingon ship?" Todd stuttered.

Greg shrugged. "Everything's for sale at the right price," he said easily. "How do you like my In-Yer-Ear-O-Matic Communicator from Creepy Atmosphere, Inc.?" When he said this, his voice came from just behind Todd's ear again. Todd flinched but, with an effort, did not jump this time.

"What's the meaning of all this?" Todd said in frustration. "Why am I on this ship? What are you doing here?"

"You know in spy movies, like James Bond, how the supervillian always kidnaps the good guy and then explains everything he's been doing and is about to do just before he tries to kill him?" Greg said.

"Yeah..." Todd answered, not liking the direction the conversation was taking.

"I always thought that was pretty stupid of the supervillian," Greg said. He reached down to his console and accessed the Reynolds Wrap Home Page. Opening the "Open location..." dialog box, he entered a code known only to himself and the late Orville Redenbacher.

A port opened on the Klingon ship's weapons bay. A large wad of what looked like aluminum foil shot out and quickly covered Todd's ship completely, making it look like the largest and most oddly shaped Christmas turkey in the universe.

"You're going to kill me with aluminum foil?" Todd giggled unbelievingly.

"Oh, this isn't just any old foil," Greg smirked over the viewscreen. Todd frowned. Even though Greg's ship was only a few miles away, the reception had suddenly started to waver.

"You see," Greg continued through an abrupt storm of static, "this is Albranbdian Super Wrap. It is a perfect superconducting energy and heat sink and reflector. Even now it is sucking all the energy from your ship and radiating it away. In about 20 seconds, when there is no energy left on your ship, it will begin to perfectly reflect any energy away from your ship. In 15 more seconds you and your ship will reach absolute zero." The viewscreen winked out as the lights began to flicker.

"Warning!" shouted the ship's computer. "Shields down! Warp core breached--matter-antimatter containment fields down. Oh, no problem--no energy left in warp core! Life support drained! Impulse power down! Computer powweeerrrrrr......" it dribbled to a halt as the light went out, plunging the bridge into total darkness.

Todd raised his hand and flipped in his Indiglo watch/wrist thermometer, shivering in the sudden cold. A blue glow dimly lit the bridge, which he could see was covered with frozen condensation, as he read the thermometer:

"180 degrees below zero Farenheit?!?" he shouted disbelievingly, his teeth chattering violently. His breath clouded over the watch and froze his right hand to his left hand, even as the Albranbdian Super Wrap finished draining the energy from the watch and even its dim blue glow left, leaving him in total darkness again.

In panic, Todd tried to pull his hands apart and run to the emergency lockers he thought were somewhere to his left, by the lift door.

His feet were frozen to the floor. It continued to get colder as Todd felt his consciousness slipping away........




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This page was last updated on Thursday May 03, 2007
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