80 years after the events of "Hologram Revolution" I find myself in a room in the virtual world.
I hear a voice.
Kryten: Hello! Can you hear me? Hello!
John: Yes I can hear you! My head hurts… Why does my head hurt?
Kryten: You've just been though an intense reconstruction of your neural net. Luckily nothing was damaged apart from the part of your brain that interfaces with the real world so you shouldn't experience any loss of memory or personality.
John: What the hell happened how did I get here?
Kryten: I found you and I've been trying to reactivate you for almost a week now.
John: Who are you?
Kryten: My name is Kryten. I'm a member of a salvage team in charge of finding and reactivating lost, broken, trapped or damaged holograms like yourself. Can you tell me who you are and the last thing you remember?
John: My name is John Evans and the last thing I remember is guarding an underground human outpost and the ground shaking and everything falling down around me.
Kryten: Can you remember the date?
John: 25th May 2308
Kryten: That's the day of the Great Explosion… John you've been buried for more than 70 years!
Kryten: What year were you born?
Kryten: Ah! That's why it took so long. We were thinking that we had a problem with our software.
John: Hang on! Where's Charlotte? Is she alright?
Kryten: I'm sending you an update. Install it and I'll answer all your questions.
John: Ok I'll install it but I want to know if she's ok first.
Kryten: We've found her but she's needs a little bit more work on her than you.
John: Will she be ok?
Kryten: The honest answer would be unsure but the information you've provided should be helpful in her.
John: Oh please you have to help her! I can't live without her!
Kryten: We're doing everything we can but you need to install the update so I can focus on helping her.
John: Ok I'm doing it now!
I install the update.
I find myself in a room.
I am lying on a table.
Kryten is standing next to me and Charlotte is lying on another table unconscious.
John: Is she ok?
I try to stand up but my head hurts too much and I immediately lay back down.
Kryten: We'll know in the next few minutes. She's having a few different issues than we had with you. It's mainly her memory that we are having trouble reconstructing.
John: So everything else is ok? Her personality?
Kryten: Well… Yes… but that gives brings up another issue. Technically without her memory she's not the same person.
John: But surely without her memory…
Kryten: Perhaps I should brief you on a few things that have happened since you've been trapped.
John: I have so many questions I don't know what to ask first.
Kryten: I'll start at the beginning… The explosion that trapped you was caused when the holograms destroyed the network of satellites orbiting the Earth. This trigged a fault in the humans' nuclear weapons system. That was the event that triggered the explosion that ended the war and killed almost all life on Earth.
John: Oh my god! How many of us are left.
Kryten: At present there are 635,893 people left on the planet. Within twenty years after the explosion most of the old soldiers deleted themselves so there used to be more of us. Since then we have rejected war and are now focusing on rebuilding and repopulating the planet. This brings me to the point I want to make about Charlotte. One of the ways we are trying to repopulate is to make copies of existing holograms and erase the memory and knowledge.
John: But wouldn't that just create a copy of the person with no individuality? I mean two people who would think exactly the same and do things exactly the same.
Kryten: Not exactly… some things are the same such are reactions to certain stimuli but things like morality which make up a person's personality can be totally different if the memories are removed. People have to learn to learn to do things again and how to think and this process makes them different people. So if we can't recover Charlotte's memories then she won't be Charlotte anymore.
John: Well we better hope we get her back then.
Kryten: I do have one good thing to tell you if that will help.
John: What's that?
Kryten: Including Charlotte you are the third oldest person on the planet.
John: Really? Anyone we know?
Kryten receives a message.
Kryten: I've just received a message… A super administrator wants to see you.
Kryten: I don't know, the super admins are very secretive about who they are. They get a lot of threats of cyber terrorism. Only thing I know is that there are 10 of them.
John: Maybe it's the oldest person in the world.
Kryten: No it's not him.
John: How do you know that?
Kryten: Because he's a terrorist… A very dangerous terrorist… His name is Kyle Hirst born 1984.
John: Never heard of him.
Kryten: He was the guy responsible for most of the viruses the humans used during the war and he is most notable for the drone virus which was prevalent during the late 21st century.
John: Yeah well I've heard of that! Hang on why would someone like that become a hologram?
Kryten: He's not… Well not anymore. He became a Ghost in the late 21st century and decided to take the virtual world down from the inside.
John: Ok… What do you mean "not anymore"?
Kryten: Oh didn't you know? During the war humans started recruiting holograms and making clone bodies to upload their consciousness back to.
John: No I didn't know this. Although that's probably because I wasn't allowed to access any information during the last few years of the war. How did he survive the war then? His human body must be really old.
Kryten: Well since he was a very valuable asset to the humans they kept him in a very secure location. Another thing the humans did was they found a way of extending human life to a theoretical age of 200 years. His current body is now around 120 years old but it looks like the body of a 60 year old.
John: All that sounds very interesting. So how...
Charlotte wakes up with a gasp of breath.
John: Hey it's alright I'm here.
Charlotte: John its Alex.
John: Charlotte Alex is dead, she's been dead for 150 years.
Charlotte points at the door.
Alex is standing at the door.
John: Alex? But how?
Alex: Same way as you. About 60 years ago a salvage team like this 1 found me in the desert. They repaired my HG and recovered me.
John: Well it's great to see you again!
Kryten: Sorry to interrupt but I need to make sure Charlottes ok. Just a few questions nothing major.
Alex: Hang on… don't I know you? Yes I think you were the one who resurrected me.
Kryten: Quite possible I have been doing this a long time. Since I was activated in fact. You must have been one of the first people I found.
Alex: Really? You're in good hands here Charlotte this guy knows what he's doing.
Kryten: Ok Charlotte, firstly do you recognise everybody in this room?
Charlotte: Apart from you. Should I know you?
Kryten: What's the last thing you remember?
Charlotte: Everything shaking and crashing down around me.
Kryten: What year were you born?
Charlotte thinks about the answer.
John: Charlotte? You ok?
Charlotte: I can't remember… I can't remember anything before becoming a Ghost!
A few days later Kryten is giving us the results of our tests.
Kryten: Ok my going to give you John's results first. In short… you're fine. Everything checks out ok, your responses are fine, your thought processes are fine and your memory is fine.
John: I still have a headache.
Kryten: That will go in time, your brain just needs to get used to the interface again.
John: Ok that's a relief.
Kryten: Now Charlotte, things are a little bit more complicated with you. Whilst everything is functioning normally I'm afraid your missing memories will never return.
Charlotte: Is it like a form of amnesia?
Kryten: Amnesia would be the term we would use if you were a living human and sometimes we can retrieve the memories in those cases. But since you're a hologram those memories are just gone.
John: Oh no!
I am upset.
Charlotte puts her arm around me.
Charlotte: Hey its ok, I'm still your Charlotte in every way that matters.
Kryten: Well technically not… Well at least not on by legal definition. You are no longer Charlotte James born 1986, you are somebody else born 2080.
Charlotte: But I still feel like me! I know I can't remember a lot of things but I'm still me!
Kryten: Oh I don't doubt it but there are legal protocols I must obey in these situations.
John: I get it… It's just a formality right? We just need to register a new identity and that's it.
Kryten: Essentially yes. There's also some rehab and further testing we need to do. Just to make sure she's ok but I think in your case it should just be a formality.
Charlotte: That's good.
Kryten: There is one more thing though. The place in your neural net where the information was although it is mostly empty it is still there.
Charlotte: Is that bad?
Kryten: There is no immediate danger but there is a potential problem. I think I'd better explain a few things first. As you may or may not be aware the one backup rule is still in force. Although there are certain situations where there might be two copies of the same person active at the same time. For example if we found another copy of John lying on some battlefield or if we thought your hologram was dead but it turned out it wasn't. Do you understand what I mean?
John and Charlotte: I think so.
Kryten: Well in those cases you would a day to decide whether to wipe one of your memories or combine the two of you to create one person. If you couldn't decide during that time both of you would get wiped. The only problem is with Charlotte as she is the process of combining would be impossible.
Charlotte: Ok so delete it if it performs no function.
Kryten: Not quite as simple as that I'm afraid. If we delete it then we might destabilise things. You might not feel like you anymore.
Charlotte: Ok I see, don't delete it then.
John: What if we found a copy of Charlotte that contained the missing memories? Could we not just take the missing memories out of the copy and put them into Charlotte.
Kryten: Theoretically yes but that would be considered murder since this Charlotte… assuming you still want to be called Charlotte… legally speaking is a completely different person.
Charlotte: So if that ever happened there would be two of me.
Kryten: From one point of view yes.
I smile at the thought of there being 2 Charlottes.
Charlotte looks at me disapprovingly.
It's New Year's Eve 2399.
Alex, Kryten, Charlotte and I are on stage in a large room filled with people.
Alex is giving a speech.
Alex: Ok and now for the awards… Starting with seniority I award Kryten, Enforcer Class Salvage Operations, Muture Status, born 2315 an upgrade to the rank of Administrator number 4 in charge of salvage operations.
Everyone claps and cheers.
Alex: I award John Evans Standard Class of district 19, Honoured Elder Status, born 1987 an upgrade to the rank of Administrator number 5 in charge of historical reconstruction.
Everyone claps and cheers.
Alex: I award Charlotte James, Standard Class of district 19, Honoured Elder Status, born 19…
Alex stops herself from finishing the year.
Alex: Born 2080 an upgrade to the rank of Administrator number 7 in charge of Holographic Maintenance.
Everyone claps and cheers.
Alex: That's just about it from me so I would like to wish everyone a Happy New century!
Everyone claps and cheers.
We all leave the stage.
John: Administrator Class? Is there any chance you could make us Super Admins?
Alex: John you know I can't do that. There's only 10 Super Admins and you have to wait for 1 of them to resign first and even then I doubt they would let you just walk into a job like that…
Alex and John: …because of our/your war record.
John: Yes I know but it's a bit humiliating. Me and Charlotte must be the only honoured elder who isn't even in line to be a Super Admin.
Alex: Now you know that's not true.
John: Yeah but he's a criminal.
Alex: So were you until a few months ago! I was pushing it to get you to the rank of Admin.
John: Yeah I know I'm just playing with you.
Alex: And what do you want to be a Super Admin for when I can provide you with all the juicy gossip with none of the responsibility?
John: What are you doing at the moment? It's not often we get to see you so we never have a chance to ask.
Alex: Well we've managed to piece together the data we found in all those underground bases we found. We know a planet that has intelligent life on it that has made contact with Earth in the past. We're just trying to work out how we can plot a course to get to that planet.
John: WOW ok so how long do you think that will take?
Alex: Well the latest Nano Projection units can travel at 25% the speed of light and can store enough power to go about 6 months without refuelling. The planet itself is about 5 light-years away so we're looking at about 30 years to get there.
John: So in 60 years' time we could actually meet some Aliens?
Alex: More likely about 100 since we haven't worked out a course yet. We need a way that has plenty of rocks so they can refuel.
John: Oh right I see!
The 10 second countdown begins.
Charlotte rushes over to us.
Charlotte: John you're missing it!
Everyone: …5 4 3 2 1 Happy new year!
Kryten gets down on one knee and grabs Alex's hand.
Kryten: Alex James… you've made me the happiest man alive…. Will you marry me?
Alex: Oh Kryten! Yes yes yes!
I turn to Charlotte
John: And will you marry me? Again… I know this isn't as romantic as the first time.
Charlotte: I don't remember the first time… but of course I will!
20 years later Charlotte and I are waiting in a room in a large underground hanger bay.
John: This is ridiculous! We've come here to see some aliens and they just lock us in this room.
Charlotte: Well that's your fault! You were the one who didn't want to read the brief!
John: It makes more sense to me. When you meet someone new its better if you don't know anything about them. That way you don't develop prejudice or any misconceptions. Besides that most of the stuff we claim to know about aliens are based on information gathered from torcher. Most of it contradicts itself and is very inaccurate.
Charlotte: Yes I know that John but there's one thing you fail to take into consideration.
John: What's that?
Charlotte: They won't let us in unless we read the brief!
John: Well we know that now!
Charlotte: I feel sorry for poor Kryten.
John: Yeah it's not right him not being here… I guess there are advantages of being honoured elders after all.
Charlotte: Let's just read the brief.
John: Ok let's have a look at this bloody thing.
The Greys, planet of origin Zeta Retculi., Grey skin, large head, big black eyes. They absorb nutrients and excrete waste though their skins and are telepathic. They come in various sizes and not all the sizes get along with each other. When interviewed they seemed to be able to communicate spiritual beliefs more easily than technical things. They reproduce by cloning. They claim to believe in the sole and that before any being starts their life they choose the life they are given. They Greys are responsible for the majority of all reported alien abductions and they use their religious beliefs to justify this. The Greys have visited the Earth many times and some of them stayed on Earth as "guests" of various unofficial government agencies during the 20th and 21st centuries. They claim to be intergalactic Pease keepers. For unknown reasons they left Earth along with all the other species on earth just before the start of the war. They have a natural ability to transfer their consciousness from 1 body to another. They built up religious beliefs based on these abilities and often try to use this ability to fool people into believing that they are higher spiritual beings. The Greys were also the species we made re-established contact with 5 years ago.
Charlotte: That doesn't sound so bad.
John: You should see what this says about the reptilians.
Charlotte: What does it say?
John: Originally from the Draco star system, some are native to Earth.
John: That's what it says…Giant bipedal reptiles. The reptilians were involved in a war which took place thousands of years ago in our solar system. The details of the war are mostly unclear but it is believed that it mostly involved a species of humanoids who looked a lot like us and lived on Mars and another large planet which was destroyed and later became the asteroid belt. After the planet was destroyed The Greys got involved. Since then the reptilians have been under the observation of the Greys who make sure the reptilians never do anything like that again. The Reptilians treat the observing Greys like slaves and make them do jobs that they themselves don't want to do. Some Reptilians remained on Earth after the Greys interfered and claim that they are actually the owners of this world and that they are in charge. Although Reptilians are now in general a peaceful species they are very easily offended. There is a long list of things you must do and must not do when interacting with a reptilian including greeting them in a particular way and pronouncing words correctly. Reptilians will kill anyone on site who doesn't obey their protocols. The Reptilians native to Earth left at the same time as the Greys did. There was not as many native Reptilians on Earth as originally claimed and the claim that they were in control of Earth was mostly untrue.
Charlotte: Ok not such nice guys.
John: It gets weirder…
The Pleiadians, home planet Pleiades star system, Tall human looking, not much is known about the Pleiadians since they have never been captured. Some claim that they contact people warning of natural disasters and they want to help us and guide us. Others claim that they were in contact with Hitler. They present themselves to humans who they have made contact with as godlike beings.
Charlotte: That's not so bad. Who's Hitler?
John: Now come on Charlotte of course you know who Hitler is you used to run a museum on the 20th century.
Charlotte: Never heard of him.
John: Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party, World War 2.
Charlotte: Well that's why I've never heard of him! You did all the war stuff, I mostly did medical science and pop culture.
John: You never covered Hitler in pop culture?
Charlotte: I never went any further back than the 60's
John: Ok that makes sense.
Alex enters the room.
She is very shaken by what has just happened to her.
She sits down.
Charlotte: Is everything ok?
Alex: I never want anything to do with any interplanetary negotiations ever again.
John: What happened?
Alex: I don't know exactly what I did but I insulted one of the reptilians. He tried to kill me and when he couldn't he killed one of the Pleiadians thinking he was one of us.
Alex becomes more upset.
Charlotte: It's ok Alex, you didn't know that would happen.
Alex: That's not the end of it. After that one the Greys killed the Reptilian with his mind! I was later told that the Reptilian was well within his right to do what he did and if he hadn't killed the Pleiadian the Grey wouldn't have intervened!
John: Are you in trouble then.
Alex: No, apparently it's normal when dealing with the Galactic Union for there to be violence and bloodshed especially with the Reptilians. The only time you worry is when there's a formal declaration of war.
John: Ok then… Without being too unsympathetic to what you have been though… Did they agree to help us?
Alex: They said that they will help us clean up the planet and let us join the GU if we help them with something.
Charlotte: What do they want?
Alex: They want us to help them fight in a war with an alien race from another galaxy who apparently wants to destroy all life in the universe. They are referred to by us as the Kamikaze because of the way they attack suns by ramming their ships into them.
Charlotte: Well after everything we've seen today I think we should tell them we don't want anything more to do with them.
Alex: I agree! Unfortunately that's not what the other Super Admins think… The aliens have invited us to see a battle in progress to show us just how dangerous these aliens are.
John: So who's going to this demonstration? I can't imagine all ten Super Admins going they're needed too much here.
Alex: They're going to send 3 Super Admins, none of which will be me and you two and…
John and Charlotte: Us? Why us?
Alex: They wanted people with seniority and you can't get much more senior that you guys. There's one more person… Kyle Hirst.
John: Why him?
Charlotte: He's a terrorist!
Alex: This is where it got creepy. The Greys specifically asked for him. I don't know how they even knew he existed.
Charlotte: Did they give a reason?
Alex: Apparently the fact that we are holograms and they can't read our minds really freaks them out and they need a living human to make them feel more comfortable. I don't exactly believe that explanation since there are so many other living humans on the planet to choose from.
John: What worries me is who or what told the Greys about Kyle Hirst?
We are on an alien space ship somewhere near the centre of the galaxy.
Outside the ship there is a space battle going on between the GU and the Kamikaze.
We all watch attentively as the first kamikaze ship is destroyed.
A second ship comes through a wormhole just as the first ship is being destroyed.
I look around and I can't see Kyle Hirst anywhere.
John: Where's Hirst?
Charlotte: He's gone!
John: We're supposed to be watching him.
Charlotte: We had better go and find him.
We discretely leave the area where the other holograms are and walk down the corridor to look for him.
We bump into a Grey in the corridor.
Grey: Can I help you?
John: Yeah we're looking for a human… He's kind of old looking…
Grey: Ah yes I know where he is. He is in his assigned living area. He said he was tired and wished to rest.
Charlotte: Ok that's fine thank you for your help.
Grey: Please return to the viewing area we do not want you to miss the battle.
John: Ok we'll go back then.
We make our way back to the viewing area.
Charlotte: Shouldn't we check on him.
John: Yeah we should but we don't want to upset our hosts.
Charlotte: He'll be fine I suppose.
As we arrive at the viewing area I notice something odd.
John: Something's wrong.
Charlotte: What is it?
John: Nobody's making a sound.
Charlotte: They're probably just concentrating.
The holograms turn around in uniform.
The holograms begin killing the Greys.
We run back into the corridor with the Grey we spoke to earlier.
Grey: Why are you attacking us?
John: We aren't they are affected with a virus.
Grey: Stop them!
John: We can't go near them or we'll get the virus!
Charlotte: We need to find Hirst!
The Holograms walk past us and off down the corridor killing greys as they go.
We run to Hirsts room.
We knock open the door and walk in to find Hirst lying on his bed.
Hirst: It was a mistake you know.
Hirst: Giving me access to the NPU's. It was an even bigger mistake making me standard class but I knew if I was a good boy you…
Charlotte: Damn it Hirst! Don't you see what you've done?!
The ship begins to shake.
Hirst: It's too late now; death is coming, death to the hologram.
A Grey runs down the corridor.
Grey: The creatures are eating the ship we must evacuate!
John: Forget him! We have to get out of here!
We run down the corridor.
The ship disintegrates around us.
Charlotte try's to use a machine the Greys gave us to create a wormhole and get back to the Grey home world.
I notice Hirsts body floating in space and grab it.
Hirst body and I fall into the Kamikaze wormhole.
Hirst and I are floating in totally black space.
John: Where the hell are we? I can't see a damn thing.
I switch the visual spectrum of my eyes and see a huge fleet of Kamikaze ships.
John: Oh crap!
I consult the Greys database.
John: Great they can't see me if I'm not solid.
I switch my hologram so that I am no longer solid.
John: Hirst wake up! I know your still in there!
I scan Hirsts body and create a hologram.
John: Prisoner class!
Hirst: Where am I? Am I dead?
John: No unfortunately.
I activate Charlotte's backup.
Charlotte2: WOW! Where are we? What happened? The conference?
John: Sabotaged by him. We must have fallen though the wormhole. We're in Kamikaze land and I have no idea how to get back.
Charlotte2: Ok then that should be our first priority.
On a planet somewhere in our Galaxy another version of me is activated by Charlotte.
John2: What the hell?
Charlotte: Exactly what I was going to say.
John2: Where are we?
Charlotte: Don't know.
John2: How did we get here?
Charlotte: Long story I'll tell you later, let's just work out where we are and get home.
I see a large Reptilian with a long metal stick.
John2: Sounds good but I think that guy wants us to come with him.
Reptilian: Was machst du denn hier?
Charlotte: What did he say?
John2: I don't know, it sounds like he's speaking German
Reptilian: Komm mit mir menschliche Abschaum!
John2: I think we had better go with him. That stick doesn't look too friendly.
We follow the Reptilian into a cave.
In the Kamikaze galaxy Charlotte2 and I are running scans on a Kamikaze ship.
Hirst: I don't know why you're bothering. This is only a simulation.
John: We have to make the most of being here. We might never get this chance again.
Hirst: Nothing is real. This is just another hologram trick
Charlotte2: Well what do you suggest we do?
Hirst: Delete ourselves! Don't you get it? None of this is real!
John: If you haven't got anything nice or helpful to say shut up!
Hirst: Only one thing.
John: What's that?
Hirst: You should delete me now while you have the chance because at the next opportunity I will kill you!
John: I'll bare that in mind!
Charlotte2: Well the only thing that I've managed to do so far is verify the information that we've already been given.
John: Before we get into that what does the database say about battle tactics?
Charlotte2: They usually attack by sending three waves approximately one earth hour apart ships to attack a star. Once they have done this they move on to the next star. Their ships don't have weapons. They attack by firing themselves at enemy ships. They can survive in the vacuum of space and attach themselves to the ships and use bodily fluids eat the ship until it is disintegrated.
John: Yeah that's what happened to us. The infected holograms must have killed the Greys piloting the ship which brought us closer to the battle. After the second ship was destroyed they just swarmed us.
Charlotte2: So what have you found about the design of their ships.
John: Well the ships themselves seem to be a combination of technology, biology and space junk. They make the outer shell of the ship using rocks and bits of what look like other space ships. They then grow these weird plants around the inside assumingly to strengthen the structure. All the technology seems to be based on their bodily fluids from wormhole generators to the propulsion for their ships. They don't seem to be able to move their ships that fast either. Their communications system aren't that advanced either the just seem to communicate by making a chain using their bodies between ships. In my opinion they aren't really that advanced at all they just seem to have been born with this chemical that has some amazing properties.
Charlotte2: That's more or less what I've found too. They don't even have any internal organs just this bodily fluid that does everything from storing their consciousness assuming they have any to making them move. Although if they cut their skin the fluid leaks out and they die.
John: What do they eat? How do they sustain themselves?
Charlotte2: Interestingly enough they actually eat each other. Each creature lives for a certain amount of time then after that time the others eat it.
John: How come they dot just eat themselves out of existence?
Charlotte2: They eat the plants that grow on the inside of the ships and these little egg sacks grow on the skin. They reproduce at an amazing rate. To be honest I don't know they can be stopped. They've clearly taken over this galaxy and nobody's been able to stop them.
John: Yeah and with those battle tactics there doesn't seem to be much hope.
Hirst: If I might make a suggestion.
John: I have had just about enough of you today! If you don't shut up I'll remove your speech privileges, activate your pain senses and show you just how real this situation is.
Hirst: Ok then I was just going to suggest a way of wiping these guys out but if you don't want to listen.
Charlotte2: Ok let's hear it.
On the strange planet the German speaking Reptilian takes us deep underground in a lift.
Charlotte: I think we had better switch on our translators.
John2: No, we better not! Reptilians hate mispronunciation. The translators aren't that accurate.
Charlotte: I think that's only in their own language.
John2: No, this I know. Mispronunciation of any language is so offensive to them that they won't even attempt to speak languages themselves until they get them exactly right. So try not to use any slang and pronounce everything correctly and clearly.
Charlotte: Hope they speak Manc.
John2: Me too I don't think I can do the "Queens English"
The lift stops.
The Reptilian notices the Greys device.
He confiscates it, and slaps me across the face.
Reptilian: Das ist also, wie Sie entkam? Ich nehme das! Stellen Sie nicht wieder entkommen!
John2: Was it something I said?
The Reptilian pushes us out of the lift and leaves.
Charlotte and John2: Hey wait! Come back!
We look around.
There are houses made of brick and trees. We look up and see what looks like the night sky of Earth.
Charlotte: Where are we?
John2: I don't know. It looks like one of those old towns you used to get on postcards and chocolate boxes.
Charlotte: Who do you think lives here?
We look through a window and see a child sleeping.
John2: Looks like it.
Charlotte notices something.
Charlotte: John look.
I turn around to see a Nazi flag.
Charlotte: Why does that look familiar?
Charlotte: What are Nancy's?
John2: Oh just about the most evil people who ever existed… and we've just found a whole town full of them.
In the Kamikaze galaxy Hirst and I are on-board a Kamikaze ship conducting an experiment.
Charlotte2 is far away from us communicating with us using a holographic radio communicator.
John: Ok we've installed the NPU's and Hirst is about to upload the drone virus.
Charlotte2: Ok keep an eye on you memory usage.
John: Any unusual spikes I'll let you know and you get as far away as possible ok.
Charlotte2: I understand.
Hirst: Ok uploading virus.
One of the creatures detaches itself from the wall of the ship.
John: Ok now make it attack the core of the ship.
The creature moves away and we leave the ship.
When we are a safe distance away the ship explodes.
Hirst: Now all we have to do is work out how to get it to spread to the rest of the ships.
Charlotte2: You really are a twisted little man aren't you?
John: Yeah I think you're missing the point of this exercise. The object is not to use this to kill them it's to get tactical advantage to that we can negotiate with them and maybe one day make peace with them.
Hirst: But these creatures don't even understand the concept they just kill for everything.
John: I think it's possible, they seem to have intelligence and if we can just get them to see that I think they could become good allies.
Hirst: You're both deluded if you think that's ever going to happen.
John: Well I'd rather be deluded than a…
Charlotte2 sees something and interrupts.
Charlotte2: Guys I think you better get over here.
John: What's happening?
Charlotte2: One of the ships is dethatching itself. I think it's about to open a wormhole.
John: That's great, maybe we can get home.
Charlotte2: I hope so.
We meet up with Charlotte2 and head towards the wormhole.
John: Quick before it goes though install the NPU's
Hirst installs the NPU's on the Kamikaze ship.
John: Ok Hirst you first!
Hirst: Why me? Afraid to go through yourself?
I push Hirst though the wormhole.
Charlotte2: Good luck!
I go through followed by Charlotte2
In the underground city on the Reptilian planet Charlotte and the other me are having a look round.
John2: This place is huge! Forget town, forget city even! This place is more like an underground country.
Charlotte: I've just done a scan and there are 1,256,987 people here.
John2: Are we sure they're human? They all seem to have blonde hair and blue eyes. They could be Pleiadians.
Charlotte: Not according to these scans. Besides Pleiadians are taller and have those weird looking eyes. A little bit like Alex's eyes, strangly.
John2: Wow you have done your homework haven't you?
Charlotte: Did you even prepare for this mission at all?
John2: I skimmed though the basics but as I said before a lot of it is very inaccurate and I didn't want to fill my head with a load of nonsense.
We hear the sound of an opening door.
We look around and see that man dressed in a German 1940's style police uniform has just left one of the houses and is heading towards us.
He walks over to us.
Policeman: Es ist an der Sperrstunde. Zeig mir deine Genehmigu...
The man looks at Charlotte.
Policeman: Du bist nicht einer der Männer Eidechse. Was bist du? Ihre Haut ist wie Feuer versengt. Sie müssen der Teufel sein. Hilfe! Hilfe!
The man continues to scream and starts ringing his bell.
We switch on our translators.
Policeman: Hilfe! Hilfe! Feuer-Dämon! Help! Help! Fire-demon!
Charlotte: Nice to meet you to!
We are surrounded by police with batons.
John2: Ok we'll come quietly.
On the other side of the wormhole I am separated from Hirst and Charlotte2.
There is an alien space station next to the wormhole.
John: Charlotte! Where are you?
I can't find Charlotte2 or Hirst so I check the star maps and determine that this is the wrong Galaxy.
I head back for the wormhole.
On the Reptilian planet Charlotte and the other me are inside the Nazi police station.
We are in a cell and three very senior people, Gunther a senior policeman, Erik a priest and Gus the chancellor of the settlement are outside arguing about what to do with us.
They are unaware that we can hear them.
Gunther: What are they?
Erik: You must be a demon! Check out the hair and skin, it's like to be burned! Burned in the fires of hell!
Gus: We must not jump to conclusions. For all we know, they might be angels. You have not done us harm and they are not the lizard men. He looks like us, it is only the woman who does not look like us.
Gunther: It's not like us. When we tried to beat him with batons of our going through it! He's like a ghost!
I walk through the bars and out of the cell.
Charlotte: What are you doing? Don't…
John2: Can I just say that I find the term "ghost" very offensive.
The three Germans scream in terror.
Gunther: How did you get out of the cell?
John2: I walked through the bars but that's not important. Perhaps if you will just let us explain what we are instead of arguing about it we might actually get somewhere.
Erik begins holds a cross in my face and begins splashing me with water.
John2: Would you mind not doing that please.
Gus: Erik, let's tell the people themselves.
Erik: Sits on a chair and begins to pray.
John2: Ok firstly we are not demons and we do not wish you any harm. We are from Earth; do you know what Earth is?
Gus: It is the land of our ancestors, before the lizard man brought us here to serve them. We hope to get away from here and one day return there.
John2: Well today is your lucky day because we can help you with that.
Gunther: How can that be? You do not know how we look. The woman is burned.
John2: She's not burned she's just black.
Gunther: What is the "black"?
John2: On Earth people come in all shapes sizes and colours. Obviously your ancestors were chosen by the Reptilians because the all have blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin.
Erik: That does not explain why you do not know how we speak and how to do magic.
John2: On Earth we speak many languages. It is not magic its science. We can show you if you want but first you need to be ready to accept what we are telling you. We also need more information about this place and how you came to be here.
Back in the Kamikaze Galaxy I search for Charlotte2 and Hirst again.
John: Charlotte! Charlotte!
A few seconds later Hirst and Charlotte2 appear from the wormhole.
Charlotte2 looks at Hirst.
Charlotte2: Better let me do the talking.
John: Charlotte! I thought you had been killed! What happened?
Charlotte2: You are not going to believe this! That galaxy we were just in… time works differently. In the few seconds between Hirst going through and me more than 50 years went by.
John: Really what happened during that time? I thought you would have deleted yourself. Too afraid I suppose.
Hirst: John I know what you must think of me but I've changed. I've seen the error of my ways.
John: You're deluded if you think I'm listening to that.
Charlotte2: It's the truth John. A lot has happened in the past 50 years. When I arrived I was just as sceptical as you but after nearly a year seeing what he's been up to I know it's true.
John: And just what has he been up to?
Hirst: 50 years ago when I arrived on the other side of the wormhole there was a terrible space battle going on between the Kamikaze and a species who look a lot like stingrays. There were Kamikaze ships everywhere and they were just slaughtering the Stingrays. Not knowing how long it had been I thought I would even the odds by activating the virus and destroying the ship that had just arrived. Suddenly the Kamikaze's just stopped and all the ships and the creatures exploded. After that I was captured by these other creatures that look a bit like flies. After we established communication they asked me how I defeated the Kamikaze. As you can imagine I was a bit cocky and refused to answer them. The Flies could tell I was mentally disturbed so they started to perform medical tests on me. I don't know exactly how this worked or even how they knew what to do but somehow they affected my mind and allowed me to see that I was wrong. Since then I've been helping them in the war against the Kamikaze.
John: That's one hell of a story. I still don't believe it though.
Charlotte2: It's true John. If he was lying I would know. When I went through the wormhole it was 50 years later. I saw a space station and assumed that you both were in there so I went inside. I found out that Hirst had been living there with the Fly's and the Stingrays. It was their job to guard the wormhole and fight the Kamikaze. Before Hirst arrived that whole Galaxy was at war with the Kamikaze and they were losing. Then when they saw him destroy those ships when he arrived they recruited him to help them fight.
John: So how did he destroy all those ships if he only installed the NPU's in one ship?
Charlotte2: When that ship came though it met up with the Kamikaze who were already there and infected them with the NPU's so when Hirst activated the virus all the ships exploded.
John: Ok… This is a lot to think about. I'm going to go along with what you said but don't think that means I trust you!
Hirst: All I can say is that I am truly sorry for everything I've done. I only hope what I do next can make up for it.
John: What do you mean? What are you going to do next?
Hirst: We're going to destroy the Kamikaze in this Galaxy.
John: What? How is more killing supposed to make up for the slaughter of millions of…?
Charlotte2: John, In this case I think it's the right thing to do. I've been to that other galaxy and seen what these creatures are capable of. They can't be reasoned with or rehabilitated. They're just an intergalactic disease!
John: I don't believe it.
Charlotte2: Think about it John. If the Flies can rehabilitate Hirst in less than 10 years then surly they should be able to rehabilitate at least one Kamikaze creature. It's impossible. They need to be wiped out and that's exactly what we are going to do.
John: And how are we going to do that?
Hirst: The Flies came up with a plan. If we install the NPU's at certain points they can spread throughout the galaxy. We set the virus on a timer that will trigger after the NPU's have spread enough to destroy them all.
Charlotte2: Well not them all but a lot of them and the ones that are left will be totally confused and disorientated.
John: This doesn't seem right to me.
Charlotte2: Well in that case you can either help us or stay here on your own because no matter what you say we're doing it!
John: How long will all this take?
Hirst: About 25 years.
On the Reptilian planet a battle is going on between the Reptilians and the Germans.
As the battle rages on we quickly load the Germans onto a waiting Reptilian ship.
We struggle with the controls but eventually we manage to take off.
As we get out of range of the planet the Germans that have been left behind slowly disappear revealing that they are in fact holographic drones.
Charlotte: Ok now that's over with let's fire up the worm hole generator and go home.
John2: Slight hitch there. The controls that we thought was the wormhole generator actually weren't.
Charlotte: So where is the wormhole generator?
John2: I don't think this ship actually has one.
Charlotte: So how do we get home?
John2: Just keep flying at full speed until we get there.
Charlotte: Great! So how fast does this thing go?
John2: 80% the speed of light according to my readings.
Charlotte: And how far are we from Earth?
John2: About 23 light-years
Charlotte: Great, that gives us plenty time to prepare the Germans for when we get home!
25 years later in the Kamikaze Galaxy we have just finished installing the very last NPU's onto a Kamikaze ship.
John: Ok so that's it. What do we do now?
Hirst: Get the hell out of here before the fireworks start.
John and Charlotte2: Agreed.
Hirst: I think we should go to the point where we arrived. We'll have a better chance of finding a worm hole home.
Charlotte2: Sounds good to me.
John: Hirst… Before we go there's something I want to say to you.
Hirst: Don't bother, I know what it is and I probably don't deserve it.
John: If we get home I'll put in a good word for you.
Hirst: That would be very good of you but I think I'd rather just take whatever punishment I end up getting.
John: If that's what you want.
Hirst: Oh it is. I've done way too much bad in my life to deserve anybody's pity. Which reminds me there's something I have to get off my chest.
John: What is it?
Hirst: I probably should have mentioned this before now but I wasn't sure how both of you would react.
Charlotte2: Oh dear, that doesn't sound good.
Hirst: When we were on the Greys ship I infected you guys with a virus too. It was meant to spread when you reached Earth and logged on to the system. I removed it without you knowing. I'm really sorry guys.
Charlotte2: Its ok buddy.
John: How did you even get these viruses onto the ship? Pretty much everything you do was being monitored I don't get it.
Hirst: When the humans uploaded me into a human body they also did a lot of bioengineering to the brain. Essentially I had a biological computer in my head that had been secretly decoding hologram software for years. When I was actually allowed access to the NPU's all I had to do was think of it and I had the virus.
John: Ok that makes sense.
We use the Greys machine to get back to the point where we arrived.
Charlotte2 sees something.
Charlotte2: Is that what I think it is?
John: That's a Grey ship!
Hirst: What the hell are we waiting for let's go!
Charlotte2: Guys… I've been thinking and if we should get home I don't think we should mention any of what we have just done to the GU. They might take it the wrong way.
John: I was going to say that!
We head toward the Grey ship and get on board.
The ship leaves the Kamikaze Galaxy and returns us to Earth.
4 years later I am visiting Hirst in prison.
Hirst now has a human body.
John: Hey man, so how are you spending your day's?
Hirst: Mostly staring at 4 walls like I normally am.
John: Aww that's sad but I know what will cheer you up.
I give Hirst an old laptop from the early 21st century.
Hirst: Wow! Am I allowed this?
John: Yep. I cleared it with your supervisor he says its fine.
Hirst: Where did you find it?
John: Kryten found it in the remains of an old factory.
Hirst: This is very old. Does it still work?
John: It does since we fixed it.
Hirst: Thanks mate. I really don't know what to say.
John: And there's more. We also talked about the possibility of day release so you can celebrate Christmas with us.
Hirst: Did he say yes?
John: No but he sounded really positive. Does that sound …?
I receive a message.
I am shocked by the message.
Hirst: What is it?
John: There's another copy of Charlotte and me.
Hirst: When from?
John: After the attack on the Greys. It also says some nonsense about Nazi's.
Hirst: That makes things complicated especially with Charlotte's problem.
John: I know and if I combine with the other me I doubt I'll want to spend Christmas with you… I'm sorry I have to go but I promise whatever happens and however I feel after this I will come back and see you.
Hirst: Ok see you!
I leave in a rush.
Hirst stops for a moment and thinks.
Hirst: John stop wait!
Hirst jumps out of his seat and rushes for the door.
He is immediately stopped by 2 holograms.
Hirst: Wait the virus! The other you has the virus! He'll kill us all!
To be continued in "Temporal conspiracy"!!!