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The Adventures of Beer Keg of Science! (Cover)

Chapter 6

The Adventures of the Beer Keg of Science!
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CO's Office, NMS Beer Keg of Science!
Nadir Jump Point, Niops System, 27 November, 3157

"Eca, a mitta lambetya cendelessë orcova. Nátyë necindo."

James Kirk, XO of what was probably the oldest "functioning" WarShip in the Inner Sphere, currently sitting in the guest seat in his captain's office, sighed again. "I don't speak Elvish, Captain."

Lea Carpentier, the at-the-moment-insufferable elf who commanded the damned Keg, meanwhile, just nodded. "Istan quetë ya merin, ar lá hanyuvatyen."

Kirk's death glare was like a terawatt laser.

"Fine," Lea sighed. "I'll use English. To summarize, your premise is insane."

James shrugged. "I know. So are KF drives, though. But there's still enough evidence to it that there might be something there, even if Ensign Shido and, Syrinx help me, Lieutenant Howard are interpreting the data wrong."

"But you don't think so."

"Not after Lieutenant Howard's demonstration with that optical rig he's got set up," Kirk agreed. "He said you could do similar with electricity, as well, but that lasers are more reliable. I've looked over his math myself, and it's esoteric, and while I'm not a physicist, or a mathematician, can see where it's coming from. And it would explain something about the SDS system, and why it couldn't jump without going insane."

"Mac?" Lea asked. "Thoughts?"

{"We got shut down before jumps for a reason."}

"Can you share those reasons?" Kirk asked.

{"No."}

Lea frowned. "The Bright Star wasn't shut down before it jumped. It didn't try to kill anyone."

{"No guns. And you've met Syrinx."}

"Wait, Syrinx was the Bright Star's AI?" Kirk asked, confused.

"Shush," Lea replied. "That doesn't leave this room. And, yes, which, actually, is a point in your favor - Syrinx knew things, but I'll be damned if it wasn't crazier than a bag full of cats. OK, fine. We keep them both aboard. For that matter, we keep you aboard," she said, pointing directly at Kirk. "Because if they're nuts, so are you. It's just a matter of degrees. But if you're all right..."

"Then it gives us a better chance of surviving, right? I'll start brushing up on my jump navigation, then, and hyperspace math."

Lea nodded. "You'll do more than that. Learn what Shido's doing, what Howard can do with that rig of his, and their theories behind it. The more people who can pull off a miracle on this ship, the more likely we'll be able to have one if we need it.


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