LIFE LINES

[A Proposed Story for “The Orville” TV series]
by Bill Pfeil

Narration: “The Orville is passing through the Harona sector, home of a self-quarantined planet, named only by navigational numbers. The reason they give for isolating themselves, “We do not interfere with the natural development of primitive civilizations.”

On the bridge of the Orville, Captain Ed Mercer views this message displayed on the screen. He says to the First Officer, “Sounds like they are using the Prime Directive on us.”

First Officer Kelly Grayson: “Advanced beyond us? Now I’m curious.”

Medical Officer Claire Finn: “The physiology and abilities of more evolved beings would be interesting to study.”

Navigational Officer Gordon Malloy: “Maybe they can shape-shift and teleport.”

Engineering Officer John LaMar: “Wonder what their babes look like.”

Ed: “Well, no more wondering. The Federation has honored their request. That planet is off-limits to us.”

John: “Maybe we could feign a mechanical malfunction. They might accept our visit for emergency repairs.”

Claire: “Isn’t our mission to explore new worlds?”

Ed: “As Captain, I am not going to jeopardize our futures in Star Fleet on some mis-adventure.”

John, an hour later in Engineering, communicates to Capt. Mercer: ”Ed, we have a problem. The dilithium crystals are starting a phase morph. We need to stop in the nearest port to make repairs.”

Ed: ”Oh crap. Here we go. Communications officer, open a hailing channel directed at that self-exiled planet.” He continues, “This is the Starship Orville of the Federation of Planets. We have an emergency. We request to land for repairs.”

Communications officer: “No response sir.”

Ed: “Try again, all frequenc….”

Suddenly a gorgeous female appears on the bridge.

John: “Holy shit.”

The surprise guest: “We heard you. What is the nature of your emergency?”

John stutters: “Di-dilithium cr-crystals. Ph-phasing.”

Image: “Very well. Here are your coordinates.”

When she disappears, the crew dances in celebration.

Ed: “Hey, our futures are on the line here. As well as our lives. We don’t know what’s down there.”

The Orville descends. The officers witness a green and blue planet surface with a network of metropolitan centers. They dock in an intricately-designed port.

John; “An engineering and architectural marvel.”

Ed, Kelly, Gordon, John and Claire stand at the doorway, ready to greet their hosts.

Ed: “Be ready for anything and anybody.”

The hatch opens, they walked out into a hallway. Empty!

Kelly: “Or, be ready for nothing and nobody.”

Gordon: “I can see people in the distance.”

The crew tries to approach those within sight, each having perfect humanoid physiques. They would look at the visitors, then scurry away.

Gordon tries to communicate with one, shouting, “Hello?” The response was one of alarm, even revulsion, and a hasty exit. Ed, Kelly, and John had similar encounters.

John: “Not so friendly.”

Claire, who had wandered away, is seen talking to one of their hosts, using a universal translator. As the Orville crew walks toward Claire, the man sees them, then runs away.

Claire shouts: “Dammit, I was making a friend.”

Claire explores the spaceport an hour later, is seen meeting her friend, then engage in cordial conversation. Ed sees this and tells the crew, “Well, they seem to like her.”

Back on the Orville, Claire reports: “My friend said that their interaction with us would be limited for two reasons. One, our gross thoughts, which they can read, are repugnant to them. Second, he is advised to not interfere with the natural development of less advanced species.”

Gordon: “What is your boyfriend’s name? And why are you able to communicate, and we’re not?”

Claire: “His name is E. We could talk because I saw he only communicates in an attitude of joy. Exactly what I’ve been working on for years.”

Ed: “Clearly Claire, you are the emissary here. Learn what you can.”

Claire: “Thank you sir. We are meeting again tonight.”

John: “An intergalactic hot date.”

Claire: “Please. That thinking is why they avoid us.”

Claire is seen leaving for her ‘date.’

Later, Claire reports her experience with E to the Orville crew: “Astounding! Difficult to comprehend. E said they can feel their past and future lives. They are aware of their eternal life line. Character and competence and health carry to the next life.”

Kelly: “Did he give you any proof of this?”

Claire: “He will. E invited me to visit him in an earlier life. He could arrange my time travel, and assures a safe return. Captain, may I go?”

Ed: ”Absolutely.”

John: “Watch out for dinosaurs.”

Claire is seen walking with E into the center of a time transporter, looking like the framework of superimposed platonic solids. Moments later, they exit together.

Back on the Orville, Claire reports: “See, what was a moment for you, I spent a month in the past with E.”

Ed: “Well?”

Claire: “In their earlier times, they were consumed with selfishness and greed.”

Ed: “How did they evolve out of that?”

Claire: “I asked that too. E said, ‘Self realization. Distinguishing perceiver from what is perceived.’”

Gordon: “Huh?”

Claire: “E explained, ‘We are the perceiver. The body, even ego, are objects perceived.’”

Ed: “An old Eastern philosophy.”

Claire: “E ask me to visit a future life. With your permission, sir.”

Ed: “And report back. In one piece.”

We see Claire entering the transporter, then walking out.

Claire: “Again, what was an instant for you, I lived a month with E in his future.”

Kelly: “So tell us …”

Claire: “In that life, E told me they learned how to be healthy and happy.’’

Kelly: ”Which is . . . ”

Claire: “These are his exact words - - ‘We mastered synergizing the longitudinal waves of transcendence, like joy and hilarity, with the oscillating waves of the body. We keep them in balance.”

John raised his hand: “How’s the sex there in the future?”

Claire: “As luscious as ever. And without the pain.”

Kelly: “Sounds like they mastered the longitudinal / oscillating wave thing.”

Ed: “Hey, let’s get on with our Starfleet duties. Shall we agree to forget our departure from regulations?”

Claire: “Captain, I trust we will come this way again soon.”

On screen: “Six Months Later.”

Ed communicates to Claire: “We are nearing the planet of your friend E. Care to get his authorization for another rendezvous?”
 
Claire: “I just received a communication from E. He knew we were near, and will be waiting. This time we are going to his most distant future that I might comprehend.”

We see Claire beaming down, then entering the time transporter with E.

Back on the Orville moments later, she reports, “In seconds for you, I lived days with E in this future life. There, they can alter their physical reality at will. The result, a better organized reality.”

Ed: “What is their secret?”

Claire: “He explained that to me - - ‘We understand that individual consciousness is a unique viewpoint of universal consciousness.’”

Kelly: “Isn’t that what religions try to teach?”

Claire continued: ”But visiting there was a bit confusing. People would suddenly disappear, and others would appear. E said they had chosen another direction in their life line.”

Kelly: “Now I understand why they used the Prime Directive on us.”

Claire: “Although I hope to visit E often, I am more comfortable being constrained in this solid space and time.”

In her quarters, Claire looks into the mirror, speaking slowly: “It is time . . . to put attention on . . . my own life line . . . and universal consciousness.”

[Note to Seth MacFarlane: The rights to this silly attempt at humor can be acquired quite inexpensively for your quite good TV show. Like free. Don’t worry about any “spoiler” issues from this being already online. Not many read my stories.]

________

Copyright, Bill Pfeil, July, 2019, Bang Saphan Noi, Thailand.

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