Here Comes That Sinking Feeling
“What’s taking so long back there?” Wolf hollered out of the flight cabin door.
“Sorry I can’t run out and pick up parts that haven’t been invented yet,” Holly replied, “If you looked up ‘jury rig’ in any textbook this would be the cautionary example. I’m also going to be repurposing all unessential power. That includes your stereo.”
“I need it to able get a signal strong enough to overcome the gravitational influence of dust. Otherwise, we wait for them to bridge in, get on the roof, and wave flashlights.”
“Even if we do contact Ray,” Luna said, “How long is it going to take to convince him?”
“I assumed it would be 600 years easier,” Wolf replied, “I don’t know, we met his past self, shouldn’t he remember that? Holly, wouldn’t he remember that?”
“Beats me, dad.”
“You’re supposed to know shit. That’s why we feed you.”
“Time travel has never been done before.”
“If Ray time traveled from 600 years ago, doesn’t that mean time travel has been done before.”
“Dad,” Holly barked, “I’m trying to repair a long-range communications device that operates on the principle of quantum entanglement with parts I got from a 21st-century Radio Shack. Could you please, let me think?”
“I’m just saying you had 600 years to catch up on this, 900 really, if add our…”
“Mom, do something,” Holly called.
“Wolf, you’re bored. Find something to do,” Luna called back from the lounge.
Wolf stared out the window into black, empty space. He began nodding his head in shallow downbeats. His hands joined in, drumming out irregular rhythms on the console. He hummed and the hum became a disjointed scat, which gave way to, “Are you almost done?”
“Constant requests for status updates won’t make this go any faster,” Holly put her tools down and mumbled, “It’s done.”
“You estimated you’d have it done in an hour. You got it done in 47 mins. The whole time I was requesting status updates. Cause. Effect.”
“I’ll cause your effect,” Holly said under her breath.
“Nothing. I sent the message.”
The console bleeped and the computer hummed, “Incoming transmission from Parthus.”
“Connect,” Wolf said.
A holographic image of Ray’s head appeared above the console.
“Hey, Ray whaddya say?” Wolf said, “You wouldn’t happen to remember me, would you? Maybe 600 years ago?”
“Identify yourself,” Ray replied.