[Vfw-times] Story: Logs of a Wanderer 6/6

Jason wyldsyde at idmail.com
Sat Oct 6 13:02:29 CDT 2001

i appologize for the length of this section, but it was the only way to
cover everything that i wanted to, and still have the story track properly

Aw, Hell.........


Log Entry 0006

Begin Recording.

It's hard to believe, but I almost didn't survive my first mission. Things
are still somewhat hazy, but I think I've finally managed to make sense of
what happened. I'm just guessing at some of it, as I've only the words of
others to help me. If I ever get home again, I'm going to kill the being
responsible for figuring out dimensional shifts via a quantum rift. Anyways,
everything was looking good.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It didn't take long for me to make contact with the survey team. I only had
to sit in the diner for about half an hour before one member walked in. It
was Captain Malcolm Tracy, the team's leader. As he sat down across from me,
I could see that he didn't expect to have any contact beyond normal reports
getting sent back home. If only I could tell him the truth. Ah, well.

"So, why did the Commodore send you here? We didn't request additional
personnel," he murmured, keeping our conversation as private as possible.
Considering the situation, it not only made sense, it actually made us fit

"Captain, I'm Lieutenant Argos. I was sent here to contact your team and
ready them for extraction," I said, looking him straight in the eyes. "We
don't have much time, and I can't tell you the reasons behind the extraction
order, so you'll just have to trust me on this."

"Lieutenant, is it? Well, we never received any notice of a pending
extraction. Tell me why I should believe you."

I sighed, feeling a bit exasperated. "Look, Captain, this is my first time
through a rift. The Commodore yanked me out of a hospital and thrust me
straight into the deep end here. I don't really care if you believe me or
not. My orders were to contact you, and get your team out by any means
necessary. And, frankly, if that means knocking you out, tracing your teams
locator tags to your field base, and returning you all by force, I will."

He leaned back, a bit shocked. After a few moments of thought, he wrote an
address on a scrap of napkin, "Meet me here in 30 minutes, and I'll have my
team ready, Lieutenant."

As I nodded, he got up, and walked out the door onto the street. I followed
a few minutes later, waving goodbye to the waitress, who had been hitting on
me since I walked through the door. Ah, the prices paid by us GC's. Good
looks and a pretty good physique were just in the genes, if you'll pardon
the pun.

I wandered through the city, slowly making my way to the rendezvous sight,
easily avoiding notice thanks to that holo-cloak. The soldiers patrolling
the city never even knew I was there.

When I arrived at the rendezvous point, a vacant lot in an area that was
beyond decrepit, the entire team was assembled, each of them carrying a bag
filled with the various pieces of equipment they had brought with them.

Captain Tracy stepped forward, and responded to my casual salute, "Ok,
Lieutenant, we're all here. Now, are we going home, or not?"

I looked around, checking for onlookers. None. Good, the last thing we
needed was for someone to see us, and either start shooting, or run
screaming. "Get ready, people. I'm sending the signal now."

I activated my comm. system, and signalled the techs at Darkside Base in our
reality to open the rift. As it formed, I noticed there was something a bit
off about it, but I didn't say anything, as the survey team pilled through,
leaving me to do a quick sweep and then follow.

As soon as I entered the rift, I knew something was wrong. Instead of just
being like stepping through a doorway, I felt as if I was getting pulled in
several directions at once. And the pain. It felt like my body was on fire,
yet freezing at the same time. I didn't even know which way was up. Time
seemed to stand still, yet I knew that I was only stuck for about a minute
or so. Then, it felt like an orbital shuttle at full burn hit me. As I
blacked out, I could see the reality I arrived on, and it wasn't where I was
supposed to be. And then there were the damage messages that appeared from
my cyber systems, as well as the 'Message Received" notice that was
flashing. Luckily, I didn't have the time to worry about these, as
everything faded away.

I don't know how long it was before I awoke, but it was long enough for the
pain to be gone. I guess I owe somebody big time for that.

My training kicked in, and I just lay there, motionless, listening to the
soft sounds of what could only be a hospital. Since I felt okay, the only
thing left for me to do was check on my cyber systems and then try and
figure out what had happened.

After I activated the interface, a damage report scrolled by. Great. Just

Somehow, my comm. systems trans-dimensional capabilities were shot to hell.
'Non Repairable' was what the blinking message was telling me. Also, my
quantum stabilizer matrix had lost its lock, and apparently was reset and
fused during the transit. Why that was categorized as a critical failure, I
didn't understand. And then there was that annoying 'Message Received' icon.
Since I didn't have anything better to do, I opened the message.

The message window opened in front of me. Oh, how I love having cybernetics.
It wasn't that long, but it was from Commodore Ashan, and it goes as

"Lieutenant, there's been a problem. Somehow, your going back and preventing
the escalating hostilities destabilized the dimensional barriers. We can't
be sure, but it looks as if your mission inadvertently caused a dimensional
collapse. The scientists have come up with a theory that, after your first
entry into a world, you cannot affect major events that have happened prior
to your arrival. Now, we held you in the rift for over a week, trying to get
you back, but there was nothing we could do. The quantum surges were too
great. We do know, however, that your stabilizer matrix was damaged, and
that the surges, upon your emergence wherever you're going to end up, will
permanently disable your comm. systems ability to contact us. As such, I've
uploaded the necessary modifications to your rift generator to allow you to
travel between dimensions, as well as shift through time. Now, as you're
officially declared as MIA, I know you don't have to obey any of my orders,
but I'm going to give you two of them. First, don't do anything major by
time shifting. You won't survive another dimensional collapse, or so the
scientists tell me. Hell, if you're reading this, you've beaten the odds.
Secondly, find your way back. We'll be setting up data beacons in all the
dimensions that we frequently visit, so you'll be able to get dimensional
co-ordinates for the base if you enter one. Good luck, you'll need it."

Well, life really is fair, isn't it? I get shanghaied into risking my neck
rescuing some spooks, and end up who knows where, with no idea how to get

"Aw, hell," I muttered, forgetting that I didn't know where I was, let alone
if the locals were friendly. Then my ears twitched, as I heard a nurse
approaching, saying, "I know, doctor, but I'm sure I heard him say

Hold on, since when do my ears twitch? And why does everything smell so
strong, like I've been bathed in disinfectant? As I heard the door opening,
I concentrated on staying as still as possible.

"Well, nurse, does it look like this patient is awake? He hasn't even moved
in the week since he was brought in." The doctor sighed, and continued, "I
just wish that we could get a heart monitor, at the very least, to work
while hooked up to him."

I could hear the nurse moving up beside my bed, obviously coming to check on

"It almost seems like he's somehow able to disable any machine we bring in
here to hook up to him."

As she moved up beside my head, I opened my eyes, and looked at her. Now,
for most people, opening your eyes and seeing a wolf standing beside them
would probably send them into shock. I can only theorize that I'm just so
used to nothing making sense and strange beings just dropping in on me from
my stay in the hospital before all this started, that I'm immune to these
sort of shocks.

She backed off, and, looking somewhat flustered, turned to the doctor, "Uh,
doctor, he's awake now."

"Hmm? Oh, good, then perhaps he can tell us a bit about himself." The doctor
pulled a chair over from near the wall and sat down beside my bed. "Thank
you, nurse, I think I can handle it from here."

As she left, I turned my head, and took a good look at the doctor. Compared
to some of the specialists I've had the displeasure of making the
acquaintance of, a 5' 6" hedgehog was nothing.

"So, son, how are you feeling?" he asked, after scanning my chart.

"Pretty good, considering I don't know what I am, but still a little
sleepy," I replied, propping myself up, and taking a good look at what I had

As my eyes travelled down my chest to where the bed sheets lay across my
waist, the first thing I noticed was that I was covered in black and white
fur. The second was that I had a muzzle. When I turned and looked at the
mirror to my left, by where the nurse had been standing, I saw, looking back
at me, what could only be a skunk. Yes, anyone who knew me would still
recognize me after a few moments, but I was a skunk.

"Hell, when they said they didn't know what would happen to me, they weren't
lying," I muttered quietly, but obviously loud enough for the doctor to

"Excuse me? Did you say someone did something to you? If you could tell me
more, there might be something I could do to help."

"Sorry, doctor, but I can't tell anything. Firstly, I've got orders to that
effect. Secondly, you'd never believe me if I could."

"Try me," he said, leaning back and giving me his full attention.

"Sorry, but I can't. Maybe after I get more information on current events, I
could tell you, but there is no way I can tell you know."

He looked at me, acting somewhat mystified, "Are you in some sort of
trouble? The hospital's legal staff might be able to help you out."

I just shook my head, still getting used to the way my ears automatically
tracked any new sound I heard. "No, its nothing that a lawyer could help me
with. It's easiest to say that my problems are bigger than anything you
could imagine."

I stifled a yawn as I turned back to the mirror and looked at my new face,
not really caring when the doctor got up and headed for the door.

"Well, when you feel like talking, ask one of the nurses to get me. The name
is Dr. Jonathan Grey."

I didn't even respond as he closed the door, still looking into the mirror.
At least my eyes hadn't changed; being the same crystal blue I was used to.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And I always wondered what having fur would be like. "Be careful what you
wish for" and all that rot aside, it actually is quite nice. The tail,
however, was quite a nuisance, at least for the first half hour or so, until
I figured out how to control it. I'm still the same 6' tall I've always
been, but I feel like I weigh more, and the diagnostic scan the cyber
systems can do confirmed that my muscle mass is about 40% more dense than a
normal human's would have been. That's denser than the 15% that GC's have.
Which means that, although I look about 170 lb.'s, I'm really about 230,
once you take into account all the cybernetics and everything. And then
there's the tail. I don't even want to think of how much it ways. However,
curling up with my tail wrapped around me does something instinctual that
makes me feel safe. And sleepy, it seems. Well, I'm going to try and rest
up, and hopefully, by tomorrow, the blasted comm. system will be repaired
enough to allow me to connect to whatever data network they've got here, and
find out where I am.

End Recording.

Log Entry 0006 Closed

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