Alpha Centauri 2

Community => Planet Tales => Topic started by: Buster's Uncle on March 15, 2016, 09:38:31 PM

Title: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 15, 2016, 09:38:31 PM
[I'm posting a first sentence, whomever fancies doing so adds a line or more.  Eventually, something posing as a story results.  It's fun - and there's a way to get a real story out of it if everyone plays ball.]

[These things are usually wacky and end up making no sense - which is fine.  However, as originator, I reserve the right to later edit heavily -trying to eliminate no one's contribution if possible, but punching it up to work as a story, as well as the standard line edit for increased fluency and untangling/working out formatting- to make something substantial out of it.  We can talk about a title later, if we get to needing one.  Worry not; we'll probably have to start over a time or two first.  So have fun, and try to keep the vulgarity down to a dull roar.]

[I like to put non-story comments -why not?- in brackets, for clarity of which is which...]



Seven of Nine was sitting on the floor in her quarters playing dolls with her best friend Naomi when her internal systems detected the dimensional rift.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: thedarkestcolors on March 16, 2016, 12:35:10 AM
Naomi, oblivious to the remarkable event, looked amused at Seven, who, still holding the dinner table of the doll house, suddenly had a brooding expression on her face.

[disclaimer: I'm lacking all but the most superficial glimpse of the personalities of any Star Trek character]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2016, 12:41:34 AM
[:danc: Houston, we have a collaborator! :danc:]

"Naomi Wildman, come with me," Seven said, rising.

"Oh." Naomi said, extending her hand, "Grownup Seven, now."
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 16, 2016, 12:43:07 AM
"There is a dimensional rift three light-years off the starboard bow," Seven announced. "It is different from the others we've encountered."

Naomi forgot about pouring her doll a cup of Tarkalian tea. "How different?" she asked. "We've run into some pretty weird stuff out here."

Seven frowned, trying to think of a way to explain it to the girl who, while intelligent for her age, was still a child.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2016, 01:03:50 AM
"It's moving this way, Naomi Wildman, quickly," she said, "We don't have much time to get to the Astrometrics lab."
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 16, 2016, 02:04:42 AM
Naomi had to run to keep up with Seven's long strides. "I haven't heard any alerts," she protested. "Shouldn't we call the Captain?"
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 16, 2016, 02:51:45 AM
"I already did," Seven said, "Hurry."
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 16, 2016, 08:53:40 PM
Naomi ran faster. "But how?" I didn't hear you call her."

Seven sighed. "Internal communications," she said. "I will explain this later."

They reached Astrometrics and slipped inside. Seven hurried to the console and began calling up more information. Naomi glanced around uncertainly; she still didn't know what most of the controls were for.

Suddenly the rift appeared on-screen. The two stared at it, dumbfounded.

Naomi spoke first. "That's... what is that, Seven?"

Seven frowned. "We may be in what Lieutenant Paris refers to as 'big trouble'."
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 12:22:20 AM
"It looks like it's coming right for us!" Naomi said, almost screaming.

[I always thought 7 and her little friend had chemistry - and thought it would have been fun if it was established that alone with Naomi off-duty, 7 turned back into the little girl she was when she got assimilated...)
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 17, 2016, 12:41:26 AM
[Except that's not what the show established. Seven's "little girl" persona wasn't really her; she had the Borg equivalent of multiple personality disorder and the little girl was someone Seven assimilated. Other than the one episode, Seven has always been shown as an adult in her scenes with Naomi.]

Seven swallowed, trying to quell her nervousness. She must be strong. Naomi must be strong. "Try to remain calm," she ordered. She activited her com-badge. "Seven of Nine to the Captain."

Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 01:08:46 AM
[Except that was bad writing -and a missed characterization opportunity- she'd been lost in the Collective since she was eight, and never had her own mind to deal with maturing.  The flat pseudo-Vulcan affect of her manner followed naturally enough, but the absence of severe emotional control issues after suddenly finding herself an individual for the first time since she was a prepubescent child -now with the body and hormones of a grown woman- was ridiculous.  Her knowledge of being an adult human, and coping with same, that had filtered through the Collective -mostly aliens- and would be something like only reading about it, if even that much irrelevant-to-the-Borg information filtered through.  She woke up from being violated beyond imagination.  At first, she could have made John-Luke in First Contact look like Buddha meditating, by comparison.  None of that was dealt with.]

[Also, reverting in private, off duty, with Naomi is a cute little bit of character business that they set up - but didn't think to play with, leaving aside that it made sense.  It's fun.]

They both screamed as the dimensional warp enveloped them.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 17, 2016, 02:20:30 AM
[Okay, I won't argue with your story posts here and your reasoning that the show missed on the psychology angle, but that's not how I'd write Seven myself.]

Meanwhile, on the Bridge, Janeway glowered at the viewscreen. "What the hell IS that thing, Harry?" she demanded.

Harry couldn't believe his eyes. "Captain, I can't explain it. It looks like a giant... a giant..."

"It's a giant sock," Paris finished. He turned in his chair and faced the stunned Captain. "We've found the Lost Single Sock Dimension."

Just then Seven's frantic comm call from Astrometrics came through. Janeway tapped her combadge. "Janeway here. Report."

The only sound the Bridge crew heard was the bloodcurdling screams of Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman. Then all was silence.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 02:05:43 PM
---

After a second's disorientation, Naomi looked around.

"Socks?" she said.

"And ponies!" Seven squealed.  "PINK ponies!"

[ ;lol]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Eadee on March 17, 2016, 03:37:27 PM
"Why are the socks so BIG?" Naomi said.

[and just to haunt  BU: This story socks!]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 03:38:10 PM
[Booo!]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: thedarkestcolors on March 17, 2016, 05:39:23 PM
The first thing Henry saw after opening his eyes was a mostly black sock. It was also among the first things he smelled. It was sticking out of a pile of last weeks clothes spilled on his pillow. He pushed the pile to the ground and was ready to go back to sleep, but the sound of the TV annoyed him. And it didn't help the headache.

The world was spinning slowly and no matter how hard he tried to focus, it just wouldn't stop. Getting up was out of the question, so he buried his head under the pillow. It didn't take long until it was torn away and he was blinded by the sun coming through the drawn back curtains.

The silhouette of his girlfriend appeared, pillow in one hand empty laundry basket in the other, spinning in harmony with the rest of the world. It almost looked like she was dancing. But he could feel that there was no smile on her face.

[ :P maybe there could be a transition sentence to make it a bit smoother, but I couldn't think of a good one.. looks like there is room for one in the [booo] post ;) ]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 05:55:14 PM
[I like to use a "------" centered to indicate a scene change - but that's a formatting thing we don't have to work out a consensus about now...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: thedarkestcolors on March 17, 2016, 06:05:40 PM
[ I think stories need no scene change comments, it should be/become eventually clear from the story. It just feels like the [dream] needs a tad more of a transitionary "ending" ]
[Edit: ah I misread it, I thought you meant smthg. like: ---- Exeunt all but hamlet ----], looks good the way it is!]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 06:10:19 PM
[Agreed.  Here's what we've got so far, with some transition marks worked in.  I only found one misspelling and deem that everything could hold together well enough so far...]



Seven of Nine was sitting on the floor in her quarters playing dolls with her best friend Naomi when her internal systems detected the dimensional rift.

Naomi, oblivious to the remarkable event, looked amused at Seven, who, still holding the dinner table of the doll house, suddenly had a brooding expression on her face.

"Naomi Wildman, come with me," Seven said, rising.

"Oh." Naomi said, extending her hand, "Grownup Seven, now."

"There is a dimensional rift three light-years off the starboard bow," Seven announced. "It is different from the others we've encountered."

Naomi forgot about pouring her doll a cup of Tarkalian tea. "How different?" she asked. "We've run into some pretty weird stuff out here."

Seven frowned, trying to think of a way to explain it to the girl who, while intelligent for her age, was still a child.

"It's moving this way, Naomi Wildman, quickly," she said, "We don't have much time to get to the Astrometrics lab."

Naomi had to run to keep up with Seven's long strides. "I haven't heard any alerts," she protested. "Shouldn't we call the Captain?"

"I already did," Seven said, "Hurry."

Naomi ran faster. "But how?" I didn't hear you call her."

Seven sighed. "Internal communications," she said. "I will explain this later."

They reached Astrometrics and slipped inside. Seven hurried to the console and began calling up more information. Naomi glanced around uncertainly; she still didn't know what most of the controls were for.

Suddenly the rift appeared on-screen. The two stared at it, dumbfounded.

Naomi spoke first. "That's... what is that, Seven?"

Seven frowned. "We may be in what Lieutenant Paris refers to as 'big trouble'."

"It looks like it's coming right for us!" Naomi said, almost screaming.

Seven swallowed, trying to quell her nervousness. She must be strong. Naomi must be strong. "Try to remain calm," she ordered. She activated her com-badge. "Seven of Nine to the Captain."

They both screamed as the dimensional warp enveloped them.

------

Meanwhile, on the Bridge, Janeway glowered at the viewscreen. "What the hell IS that thing, Harry?" she demanded.

Harry couldn't believe his eyes. "Captain, I can't explain it. It looks like a giant... a giant..."

"It's a giant sock," Paris finished. He turned in his chair and faced the stunned Captain. "We've found the Lost Single Sock Dimension."

Just then Seven's frantic comm call from Astrometrics came through. Janeway tapped her combadge. "Janeway here. Report."

The only sound the Bridge crew heard was the bloodcurdling screams of Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman. Then all was silence.

------

After a second's disorientation, Naomi looked around.

"Socks?" she said.

"And ponies!" Seven squealed.  "PINK ponies!"

"Why are the socks so BIG?" Naomi said.

------

The first thing Henry saw after opening his eyes was a mostly black sock. It was also among the first things he smelled. It was sticking out of a pile of last weeks clothes spilled on his pillow. He pushed the pile to the ground and was ready to go back to sleep, but the sound of the TV annoyed him. And it didn't help the headache.

The world was spinning slowly and no matter how hard he tried to focus, it just wouldn't stop. Getting up was out of the question, so he buried his head under the pillow. It didn't take long until it was torn away and he was blinded by the sun coming through the drawn back curtains.

The silhouette of his girlfriend appeared, pillow in one hand empty laundry basket in the other, spinning in harmony with the rest of the world. It almost looked like she was dancing. But he could feel that there was no smile on her face.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 17, 2016, 06:56:35 PM
The mostly-black sock couldn't believe what it was witnessing. It had heard of humans being murdered for not doing their laundry, but had never seen it personally.

The sock recalled being left on the floor for days on end, lonely without its mate. And even now, it had no idea where its mate was. It would have cried, but socks have no tear ducts.

After the human on the bed had finished its last breath, the other human glared at the sock. "You're gone," she announced grimly. "Every last bit of his stuff will be GONE!"

The sock trembled. What'd I do? it wailed silently, trying to make the human understand that it was innocent; it hadn't intended to lie on the floor for so long.

But the human female evidently lacked the capacity to understand the telepathic communication used by sock-kind. When she dumped Sock out with the rest of her now-deceased companion's belongings, Sock grieved not only for its own soon-to-be-over life, but also for the loss of its mate.

I don't want to go! I don't want to go! Where is my mate? I must find my mate!

The distraught sock did not see the dimensional rift open up in front of it, but as it was drawn inside, Sock's last thought on 21st-century Earth was WTF?!
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 17, 2016, 07:01:06 PM
------

Seven had just spotted a rainbow-colored pony when the sock landed on her.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 17, 2016, 07:27:55 PM
Naomi stared. "How did that get in here?"

Seven picked the sock up and examined it. "I don't know. Perhaps it was transported here."

We don't use such crude technology.

Both Seven and Naomi jumped at the voice in their minds. Then Seven said aloud, "You're telepathic!"

Of course, the sock said.

"Cool!" Naomi squealed. Then she frowned, puzzled. "But how did you get on the ship?"

Teleportation, the sock replied. Have you seen my mate?
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 18, 2016, 01:06:57 AM
"Wait," Naomi said.  "How did we get back on the ship?"

And what are you going to do with all these magic ponies while I search for my mate?
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 18, 2016, 02:32:55 AM
One of the magic ponies spoke up. "We're just along for the ride. Some of us were originally lost in the same way the mateless-socks were - lost and forgotten, and missing the children who were our companions."

"Oh," Naomi said, thinking of her dolls and Flotter. She'd hate for them to be lost inside a dimensional rift for who knew how long, missing her all that time. "Where did the rest of you come from?"

"There are many ways to become lost," the pony said. "But at least we're not searching for our mates, as the socks are."

Seven and Naomi exchanged knowing looks. Both of them knew what it was like to be lost, though thankfully neither had lost a mate.

Suddenly Naomi said, "Seven, we could help them, couldn't we?" She gestured around the room, which by now was rapidly accumulating socks, of varying shapes, sizes, and colors, no two of which were identical.

"Yes, we could," Seven agreed. She turned to the sock which had been the first to teleport aboard. "We can replicate mates for you."

Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 18, 2016, 02:45:51 AM
Suddenly you interest me, strikingly ectomorphic space lady; say on...
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 20, 2016, 02:14:18 AM
[Do we wrap this one up (easy with magic ponies handy, and there's enough here for a complete silly short-short) and start a new one - or bring back the dimensional warp (or pony magic) and have more adventure?  I prefer the later option, but consider it un-cricket to add more before someone else takes a turn...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 20, 2016, 02:16:28 PM
Replicate? one of the socks asked, puzzled. You mean like a copy?

"Of course," Seven said. "We would have to scan you, then program the ship's replicators to produce a copy. Then you would have a mate."

"Seven, that's not gonna work too well."

Seven and Naomi jumped. They hadn't heard the door open, as they'd been engrossed in their conversation with the socks.

"Explain." Seven looked down her aristocratic nose at Tom Paris.

Paris sighed. "Do you have any idea just how many socks there are on the ship? They're on every deck. They've taken up half the space in the galley, and the Captain found one in her coffee cup!"

Naomi's eyes widened. She addressed the nearest sock. "That's not good. You shouldn't have done that. Nobody messes with the Captain's coffee. I'm the Captain's assistant, so I should know!"
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 20, 2016, 10:57:16 PM
EMERGENCY! a distant mental voice cried out at just that moment, MEAN WOMAN RAMPAGING, DARN IT!

"Spirit Of Fun away!" the rainbow pony nickered as it vanished.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 21, 2016, 07:36:09 PM
[Rainbow pony socks - just because]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 25, 2016, 06:29:56 PM
[?  Hello; is this thing on?]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Rusty Edge on March 27, 2016, 12:59:31 AM
[ One of the magic ponies spoke up. "We're just along for the ride. ]

Hilarious!
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 27, 2016, 02:08:45 AM
[Side-comments go in brackets - not the other way around...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 27, 2016, 03:44:52 AM
Captain Janeway paced up and down the length of her Ready Room. She glared at Seven of Nine, as though Seven was personally responsible for the sudden invasion of mismatched socks and ponies. She held up her coffee cup, and Seven could see a sock sticking out of it.

"THIS SOCK DRANK MY COFFEE!!!" the captain yelled. "It didn't just fall into the cup - it jumped in and drank it!"

Seven's eyebrow raised in Vulcan-like surprise. "Socks have no digestive system, Captain."

Yes, we do,
the sock corrected. Its mental voice gave an impression of satisfaction. Your captain has excellent coffee.

Janeway contemplated throwing the cup against the bulkhead, but realized that action would not bring back her precious coffee. "That was the last of my supply until I get my next batch of replicator rations!"

Seven mentally shuddered to think what a caffeine-deprived Janeway would be like if she had to go three more days without coffee. She fixed the sock with her best Borg glare. "I am going to get the Captain another cup of coffee, and you are not going to steal it, is that clear? Because if you do, I will throw you into the ship's recycling system and you will be stripped down to your bare atoms. Not one thread will remain."

The sock blanched. That would be murder! it protested in outrage.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 27, 2016, 04:32:16 AM
That was when Spirit of Fun reappeared.  She pawed the deck with a cute, multichromatic, hoof, whinnied adorably, and pointed her tail at the Captain, enveloping her briefly in an aura of shifting hue.

Janeway stiffened upright, crossed her arms as if posing, and barked "Seven! Replicate me a Napoleon hat!"



[Seems to me that we ought to consider whether we want more to make a real, if monumentally silly, story out of this -in which case we might have to conference about vague plot/direction and ideas- or just keep winging it and trying to make each other laugh, which is easier when everything is a surprise.  This has certainly not gone along the sort of track I imagined when I wrote the first sentence -which is only the nature of the thing we're doing- or what I've tried to cue in my contributions...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 27, 2016, 02:21:57 PM
[I'm going for a scenario in which the socks can find their mates back on Earth or whichever place they were lost. Somehow they achieved sentience, and their ultimate goal is to find their mates. But with sentience comes the need to figure out how to get along with others. One thing I want to address is whether or not the Voyager crew actually wear socks. I don't remember ever seeing that.

I honestly can't relate to the ponies part of the story; I don't know enough about them.]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 27, 2016, 09:23:16 PM
[Y'know, my original idea was to use 7 and Naomi because you like 7 (and I like 7 with Naomi) - but I've no interest in doing a Voyager story, which is why the dimensional rift was right there in the first sentence - get them off the ship, tour a silly (magic?  fantasy milieu so they can be princesses?  something else entirely?) place or several, have some weird, un-Voyager, adventures; not a formula for a good Voyager story, as that show's strength was an entirely different kind of adventure, flying around and blowing stuff up.

Oh well; it doesn't pay to be invested in the plot going anywhere particular, or what's the point of a roundtable?

The magic ponies was a 'little girl' touch - they turn out to be a convenient plot device if we choose to use them for that, but you and I are about a generation too old for magic ponies - send them home, if you like.  If you can think of some equivalent girl thing from 1971 or so, when you were about that age, to replace them -magic plot powers not necessary, but a plus- (I can't think of any, but I remember early 70's pop culture well enough to roll with whatever) have a party.

---

...It's still someone else's turn to write story, next - I did set up for Janeway to act like an over-the-top parody of Janeway for a while...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on March 27, 2016, 09:46:32 PM
[In 1971 I was 8 years old, and living on an acreage. I have no idea what was popular here back then. I also don't get the Napoleon reference.]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 27, 2016, 09:59:13 PM
[See the last phrase in my last - she's been zapped, and some Captain Bly action might be funny.  Dressing up as Napoleon is a common shorthand for madness...

I was sorta thinking about the criticism people who don't like Janeway -and that's Mylochka and all the lady fans I talked to around the time Voyager premiered- make, that she's a man's idea of a tough woman, not much like a real tough woman...  I worked in her posing to give an order, like she did every time the first two seasons.  Could be amusing to turn her "You just [bleeped] with the wrong guy" -she did actually say that at least once- 'tude up to 11.

On the other hand, she might just have wanted to do Waterloo cosplay and will get over it fast...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 28, 2016, 07:43:57 PM
[It's still someone else's turn.

Throwing out story ideas to inspire each other and/or help us get pulling together would probably be good, too.]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on April 03, 2016, 11:25:25 PM
[Shall we wrap this sucker up and start something else?  It's been over a week waiting for someone to dash off a line...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 21, 2016, 01:08:45 PM
[Looks up from watch, pulls out calendar to check]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on June 21, 2016, 03:28:54 PM
It might be best to wrap it up, at least for me, since I really don't understand the pony references. That makes it hard to play off them and think of different directions to take the story.

Now lost single socks are what I do understand... and this was a worthwhile exercise, since it gave me a couple of ideas for a fanfic.
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 21, 2016, 03:39:36 PM
[The ponies are generic - I was just thinking of little girl stuff for them to react to like little girls. 

Whatever could be made up about them, even subverting the whole Care Bears infantile caring is sharing thing.  Anything, as long as it's fun.  I didn't watch any of that crap, either - I'm no bronie.]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Valka on June 21, 2016, 03:46:38 PM
[I'm not saying it's wrong to watch MLP, and if guys like it, so what? I'm just saying that I'm not into it. And I'm not one of the people who were horse-crazy as a child, either. I was up on a horse exactly once in my life, and I prefer riding something that doesn't make its own decisions about where it wants to go.

In the context of the story, neither Seven nor Naomi were ever exposed to horses, with the possible exception of holodeck programs.]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on June 21, 2016, 04:03:03 PM
[Naomi was born onboard in the Delta Quadrant, of course, but how do you know little Annika Hansen never rode a horse?

Maybe there's an idea for the story...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 12, 2018, 10:34:06 PM
[I'm profoundly disappointed that this one dried up, apparently over not-liking-cues/direction, which I'd managed to roll with, despite some disappointments.  It was going so well, considering.  Any goofy Voyager fans interested?  Still waiting for someone to take a turn to bounce off of...]
Title: Re: Roundtable Story
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 15, 2018, 07:34:00 PM
(Profoundly disappointed...)
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 29, 2018, 05:17:30 PM
[Our story thus far w/ one misspelling corrected, formatting seen to, and no other editing (though I want to make the Earth interlude instead off-duty Harry Kim and his favored Delaney sister...):]



Seven of Nine was sitting on the floor in her quarters playing dolls with her best friend Naomi when her internal systems detected the dimensional rift.

Naomi, oblivious to the remarkable event, looked amused at Seven, who, still holding the dinner table of the doll house, suddenly had a brooding expression on her face.

"Naomi Wildman, come with me," Seven said, rising.

"Oh." Naomi said, extending her hand, "Grownup Seven, now."

"There is a dimensional rift three light-years off the starboard bow," Seven announced. "It is different from the others we've encountered."

Naomi forgot about pouring her doll a cup of Tarkalian tea. "How different?" she asked. "We've run into some pretty weird stuff out here."

Seven frowned, trying to think of a way to explain it to the girl who, while intelligent for her age, was still a child.

"It's moving this way, Naomi Wildman, quickly," she said, "We don't have much time to get to the Astrometrics lab."

Naomi had to run to keep up with Seven's long strides. "I haven't heard any alerts," she protested. "Shouldn't we call the Captain?"

"I already did," Seven said, "Hurry."

Naomi ran faster. "But how?" I didn't hear you call her."

Seven sighed. "Internal communications," she said. "I will explain this later."

They reached Astrometrics and slipped inside. Seven hurried to the console and began calling up more information. Naomi glanced around uncertainly; she still didn't know what most of the controls were for.

Suddenly the rift appeared on-screen. The two stared at it, dumbfounded.

Naomi spoke first. "That's... what is that, Seven?"

Seven frowned. "We may be in what Lieutenant Paris refers to as 'big trouble'."

"It looks like it's coming right for us!" Naomi said, almost screaming.

Seven swallowed, trying to quell her nervousness. She must be strong. Naomi must be strong. "Try to remain calm," she ordered. She activated her com-badge. "Seven of Nine to the Captain."

They both screamed as the dimensional warp enveloped them.


------


Meanwhile, on the Bridge, Janeway glowered at the viewscreen. "What the hell IS that thing, Harry?" she demanded.

Harry couldn't believe his eyes. "Captain, I can't explain it. It looks like a giant... a giant..."

"It's a giant sock," Paris finished. He turned in his chair and faced the stunned Captain. "We've found the Lost Single Sock Dimension."

Just then Seven's frantic comm call from Astrometrics came through. Janeway tapped her combadge. "Janeway here. Report."

The only sound the Bridge crew heard was the bloodcurdling screams of Seven of Nine and Naomi Wildman. Then all was silence.

------

After a second's disorientation, Naomi looked around.

"Socks?" she said.

"And ponies!" Seven squealed.  "PINK ponies!"

"Why are the socks so BIG?" Naomi said.


------


The first thing Henry saw after opening his eyes was a mostly black sock. It was also among the first things he smelled. It was sticking out of a pile of last weeks clothes spilled on his pillow. He pushed the pile to the ground and was ready to go back to sleep, but the sound of the TV annoyed him. And it didn't help the headache.

The world was spinning slowly and no matter how hard he tried to focus, it just wouldn't stop. Getting up was out of the question, so he buried his head under the pillow. It didn't take long until it was torn away and he was blinded by the sun coming through the drawn back curtains.

The silhouette of his girlfriend appeared, pillow in one hand empty laundry basket in the other, spinning in harmony with the rest of the world. It almost looked like she was dancing. But he could feel that there was no smile on her face.

The mostly-black sock couldn't believe what it was witnessing. It had heard of humans being murdered for not doing their laundry, but had never seen it personally.

The sock recalled being left on the floor for days on end, lonely without its mate. And even now, it had no idea where its mate was. It would have cried, but socks have no tear ducts.

After the human on the bed had finished its last breath, the other human glared at the sock. "You're gone," she announced grimly. "Every last bit of his stuff will be GONE!"

The sock trembled. What'd I do? it wailed silently, trying to make the human understand that it was innocent; it hadn't intended to lie on the floor for so long.

But the human female evidently lacked the capacity to understand the telepathic communication used by sock-kind. When she dumped Sock out with the rest of her now-deceased companion's belongings, Sock grieved not only for its own soon-to-be-over life, but also for the loss of its mate.

I don't want to go! I don't want to go! Where is my mate? I must find my mate!

The distraught sock did not see the dimensional rift open up in front of it, but as it was drawn inside, Sock's last thought on 21st-century Earth was WTF?!


------


Seven had just spotted a rainbow-colored pony when the sock landed on her.

Naomi stared. "How did that get in here?"

Seven picked the sock up and examined it. "I don't know. Perhaps it was transported here."

We don't use such crude technology.

Both Seven and Naomi jumped at the voice in their minds. Then Seven said aloud, "You're telepathic!"

Of course, the sock said.

"Cool!" Naomi squealed. Then she frowned, puzzled. "But how did you get on the ship?"

Teleportation, the sock replied. Have you seen my mate?

"Wait," Naomi said.  "How did we get back on the ship?"

And what are you going to do with all these magic ponies while I search for my mate?

One of the magic ponies spoke up. "We're just along for the ride. Some of us were originally lost in the same way the mateless-socks were - lost and forgotten, and missing the children who were our companions."

"Oh," Naomi said, thinking of her dolls and Flotter. She'd hate for them to be lost inside a dimensional rift for who knew how long, missing her all that time. "Where did the rest of you come from?"

"There are many ways to become lost," the pony said. "But at least we're not searching for our mates, as the socks are."

Seven and Naomi exchanged knowing looks. Both of them knew what it was like to be lost, though thankfully neither had lost a mate.

Suddenly Naomi said, "Seven, we could help them, couldn't we?" She gestured around the room, which by now was rapidly accumulating socks, of varying shapes, sizes, and colors, no two of which were identical.

"Yes, we could," Seven agreed. She turned to the sock which had been the first to teleport aboard. "We can replicate mates for you."


EMERGENCY! a distant mental voice cried out at just that moment, MEAN WOMAN RAMPAGING, DARN IT!

"Spirit Of Fun away!" the rainbow pony nickered as it vanished.

One of the magic ponies spoke up. "We're just along for the ride.


------


Captain Janeway paced up and down the length of her Ready Room. She glared at Seven of Nine, as though Seven was personally responsible for the sudden invasion of mismatched socks and ponies. She held up her coffee cup, and Seven could see a sock sticking out of it.

"THIS SOCK DRANK MY COFFEE!!!" the captain yelled. "It didn't just fall into the cup - it jumped in and drank it!"

Seven's eyebrow raised in Vulcan-like surprise. "Socks have no digestive system, Captain."

Yes, we do,
the sock corrected. Its mental voice gave an impression of satisfaction. Your captain has excellent coffee.

Janeway contemplated throwing the cup against the bulkhead, but realized that action would not bring back her precious coffee. "That was the last of my supply until I get my next batch of replicator rations!"

Seven mentally shuddered to think what a caffeine-deprived Janeway would be like if she had to go three more days without coffee. She fixed the sock with her best Borg glare. "I am going to get the Captain another cup of coffee, and you are not going to steal it, is that clear? Because if you do, I will throw you into the ship's recycling system and you will be stripped down to your bare atoms. Not one thread will remain."

The sock blanched. That would be murder! it protested in outrage.


That was when Spirit of Fun reappeared.  She pawed the deck with a cute, multichromatic, hoof, whinnied adorably, and pointed her tail at the Captain, enveloping her briefly in an aura of shifting hue.

Janeway stiffened upright, crossed her arms as if posing, and barked "Seven! Replicate me a Napoleon hat!"



[? Anyone?  Please?]
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Syn on March 29, 2018, 07:03:03 PM
I know when you're thinking of participants in this you're thinking of people named Syn, but count me out on this. It's just... well... silly. Not my speed at all. Sorry. :(
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 29, 2018, 07:13:12 PM
[This is the way of things in forum roundtable stories.  However, (and I didn't aim that at you, just the community-building activity I'm back on because you showed interest in the folder) feel free to start a(n explicitly-labeled) roundtable, w/ or w/o title to start with, and dash off a first line.  I got yo' back.

Also - read 2106 A.D. (http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=17686.0)  It's a roundtable that we got serious about and then kept the sophomoric humor below a dull roar, made decent through me editing seven years later.  If you make it past the Hitler appearance, it gets good in a wild pulp adventure/romance sort of way.  READ.  IT.

-It's a demonstration of the beginning of the potential of this (sloppy, chaotic) way of generating something neat and fun. Have a serious roudtable party.]
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Syn on March 29, 2018, 10:06:59 PM
I wouldn't know where to start. :( I've never done a "roundtable" or a collaboration with someone else on a single piece.
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Buster's Uncle on March 29, 2018, 10:58:58 PM
[I could start it.  Dash off a line. You see it and don't overthink, dash off another - if it got any good, we could fight over the story direction and structure and editing -I've been there, it got intense and it was worth it- THIS is the kind of problem you WANT to have...]
Title: Re: Roundtable story (open for submissions, please)
Post by: Syn on March 29, 2018, 11:06:53 PM
I lay myself at your mercy.

Preemptive apology for the inevitable failure.