Chapter 21: Ships and Experiments
“What was that!”
Something had just zoomed past the ship. A grey blur, it had been impossible to determine. That is, of cause, without Jumba’s state of the art video processing software.
“Just be waiting a minute, I will be locating and enhancing frame so little girl can for to be looking at, no?”
A large greenish glowing translucent flat thingy appeared. It kind of looked like those giant electronic billboards you see mounted on the sides of buildings in Japan, except it wasn’t attached to the wall, was floating three feet from the ground, and you could see through it. And, as Jumba demonstrated, walk through it too.
Lilo stood in awe, gaping at the immense size.
Stitch shook it off. He’d seen more impressive things in the Grand Courthouse.
In a split-second flash, an image appeared on the screen. It looked all blurry and deformed, kind of like Pleakley’s so-called “meatloaf”.
“OK, applying sharpening filter… ten percent intensity.”
Now, it looked like Pleakly’s face during the application of that greenish mud that he calls “Beautimud® packs”. Or something like that. And though they didn’t do anything to help his complexion, they did make a nice supplement to cheese sauce…
“Number one, and number two,” said Jumba, messing around (or, as Jumba liked to call it, “working”) with the filter. “Which one is looking better? Number one, and number two.”
Cut it out, Jumba, you’re not an optometrist, 626 thought.
“OK, thirty percent.”
Now it looked like Pleakly on a bad hair day. Which isn’t saying much, owing to the fact that he doesn’t have any hair. And his wig looked stupid.
“’Tis being sixty percent now…”
Now it looked like something other than Pleakly all messed up. Which again, isn’t saying much, owing to…
No, I won’t say it. It’s too easy.
Squinting at the blurry image, Stitch thought he could just make out a few letters on the main blob.
U… S… S… S… How many S’s can you have in a row?
“OK, ‘tis eighty percent…”
The blob suddenly looked less blob-like. And more ship-like. Like a certain type of ship. A certain fictional type of ship. A certain fictional type of ship that wasn’t supposed to exist. A certain…
“That looks like the Enterprise-A!” exclaimed Lilo, voicing Stitch’s musings.
“Enterprise-A? What is this ship that you are knowing about?”
“You haven’t watched Star Trek? Where have you been this century?”
“Um… on Delta Quaam?”
Lilo returned her gaze to the screen. It was a majestic ship, gleaming in the morning sun, so to speak. She, of cause, knew every part of it. From the dull grey of the saucer, the large bulk underneath, at the front of that bulk a royal-blue refracting dish, and the cornflower-bluish glow of the warp coils.
Except that this wasn’t the Enterprise-A. Even if they had somehow slipped into an alternate universe, it was the wrong time period. Starfleet, the ‘Galactic High Council’ of the time, discontinued production of Constitution-Refit-class ships in the 2300’s!
Then she noticed the inscription… U.S.S. Serenity was etched upon the saucer, between the designation… NCC-82535.
Serenity… She liked the sound of that… it was at least better than Enterprise, which had more a business-like air to it.
Suddenly, she had the strange, inexplicable feeling that she was being watched. She shook it off, explaining it away to herself that it was just another suspicion, an invention of her paranoid mind.
Two decks below, nothing was to be seen.
All was silent. Until…
“YEOW! 419, you stepped on my foot!”
“It’s kinda hard to see without the lights!”
“Didn’t Jumba give you hyper-sensitive retinas?”
“What? What was he thinking?”
“Maybe that dealing with quantum physics and astronomical data would not require seeing in the dark!”
“Well, he shoulda thought about that before creating a 628!”
A loud, booming, Russian-accented voice rumbled through the deck.
“Quiet! Little girl is already getting suspicious! And I don’t need Pleakly on my tail…”
“Yes, Unca Jumba,” the two experiments chorused.
“Is it absolutely necessary to be calling me that?”
426 spoke up.
“Well, since you don’t like being called da…”
“Not to be saying D-word. Ever.”
“OK, OK, sheesh!”
Sixteen light-years away, the woman paced the room.
“Target acquired,” she whispered to herself.
Upon her console, an image appeared. Of a ship. Jumba’s ship. It glittered in the starlight, stared out of the darkness.
The unnatural symphony of voices poured into the room like mercury.
“Co-ordinates determined. Unimatrix 032, Grid 12. Activate!”
The ship launched forward, gliding like some unearthly being.
“Alter course to intercept!”