Chapter 28: Broken Power Couplings
“Icchi… ni… san… yon… go…”
626 was counting corridors.
Funny how it seemed like all of Jumba’s long-term living facilities had long, dark corridors in abundance.
Conduits… where is that conduit?
“What’s the status of the shields?”
“Electromagnetic field pulsating at 12.842752860345 per…”
“I’m not Jumba, 419, just give me the basics!”
426 smacked himself on the forehead.
“OK… thanks… um… can you locate the source of the problem?”
426 thought he detected a hint of sarcasm.
“Broken power coupling, deck two, corridor four,” 419 read.
426 didn’t move.
“Um… aren’t you going? To fix the coupling?”
“And why not?”
“Well… with me, Jumba kinda missed his mark with the whole super genius thing… I mean, he almost got it, but not quite… but you, 419… well… you can do nine-figure non-linear equations in your head! That’s something I could only dream of doing… not that I do dream about it,” he added hastily.
“OK, I’ll fix it…”
“You have: no messages waiting.”
“Hi, Nani Pelikai here. I can’t come to the phone right now, so leave a message after the beep and I’ll get back to you as soon as my younger sister stops begging me for ice cream. OK, already…”
“Can I have chocolate and raspberry on mine?”
“Sure… look, I’m in the middle of a rec…”
“You’re on the phone, aren’t you? If you’re Mr Jameson…”
“Nani says that she deserves a three-hundred percent raise!”
At this point, a long, loud beeping noise rung through the Pelikai house.
“Hi, this is Dr Sanders. From Honolulu Hospital? Yes, something’s come up about your parents’ state of… living impaired-ness. I’m in Kaua’i on holiday next week, we can discuss it at Hasagawa’s… or, if it’s a sensitive subject, I’ll just mail you a copy of the report…”
“You have: one messages waiting.”
“You don’t recognise me?”
The Queen was circling Lilo as a shark would its prey.
“Well, no, and you’d think I would, with that look.”
The Queen’s smile faulted for a moment.
“Well… since it has been 300 years… and we’ve got all the time in the universe…
Back in your Earth year 2005, I was simply a little girl, living in Hawai’i. I watched you get teased, humiliated, rejected by whom you thought were your friends… when you mysteriously disappeared, along with your Qweltian ‘uncle’, Plorgarian ‘aunt’, and sister, I did some investigation… I found out about all the experiments, and Jumba and Pleakly’s true identities…
In 2013… don’t worry, I kept your family’s secrets,” she interjected, correctly reading the look on Lilo’s face. At least, Lilo thought she was reading the look on her face…
“Anyway, in 2013, I was picked out of millions to join the ‘Tesseract Project’, an early attempt at time travel. I was one of a group of ten.
Unfortunately, no one ever come back. They all assumed that we had been vaporised or something… the real problem was that they had given us absolutely no way of getting back. We knew the risk, that we’d never return, and we decided to take that risk.
Co-incidentally, we landed on a Borg ship during what would become known as The Battle for Sector 001. You know, Borg vs. Federation, Borg almost won… you don’t know? Well, anyway, we found a transporter, and Vic – she was one of the people in my group – figured out how to work it. I volunteered to stay behind and operate the transporter… unfortunately, the Borg realised what was happening. Four others and I were assimilated…
At that time, the Queen was on an important mission… to stop the first warp flight in 2063 … but the Enterprise-E just had to interfere… alas; she (the Queen, not the Enterprise) was eliminated.
But, you see, it wasn’t the end for the Borg…”
“I bet everyone hoped it was,” Lilo retorted.
“It was not the end of the Borg,” the Queen continued, as if Lilo had not interrupted, “but a new beginning. The Primary Disjunctives of Unimatrix 001 scouted for drones with the qualities of the Queen. I happened to have those qualities.”
“Well, well, well, we’re passing your friends in the Serenity… What’s say we drop in on them, eh? We can finish the story when you’re feeling more… co-operative.”