******** In the Artificial Gravity Room: Ensign Metag is sitting cross-legged in front of the artificial gravity cube with a pensive, almost zen-like look on his face. He sighs and once again begins: Metag: Pandora, initiate phase one testing. Pandora: How many times do we have to do this? I've already tested this thing 36 times this week. It's working fine. Metag: Maybe it broke in the last 10 minutes. Maybe the HVR ship emanated weird rays that interfered with it. Just do it, initiate phase one testing. Lite oozes through the door, glancing over his shoulder, then looking around with a satisfied expression. He sees Ensign Metag before Metag sees him and scurries into a corner. Pandora: Beginning testing. Gradual increase. Ensign Metag sinks into the floor a bit and the hidden balance of his zen-like position becomes obvious as his muscles tighten and he remains seated. Lite, however, is flattened out in the corner and seems to be unable to get up. He is very carefully quiet, mostly because all his energy is centered on breathing. Pandora: Continuing testing. Gradual decrease. Ensign Metag's taut position becomes looser and looser as his muscles relax from the tension and then he gradually floats into the air, remaining calm while floating a few millimeters from the floor. Lite, on the other hand, sprung up when the crushing gravity was lifted, and when the gravity continued to decrease, he flew into the air. He suddenly appears from behind the other side of the gravity cube, startling the H*** out of Ensign Metag. Lite: Woooooooah!!!!! Ensign Metag: Pandora, identify floating creature. Pandora: That appears to be the newest arrival from the HVR ship, Lite. Lite: I HATE that name!!! Pandora: He appears to be headed for a rendezvous with the ceiling. Continuing phase one testing. Swift increase. Ensign Metag: HALT TESTING! Geez Pandora, don't you know better than to initiate high gravity when there's a floating object in the room? Especially a little kid! Lite: I am NOT a little kid! Pandora: You told me to initiate phase one testing. I told you we shouldn't do it, but you told me too. You insisted even. But all right. Phase one testing canceled. Lite: (Jumping around the low gravity room) WHEEEEE! This is fun! Much better than that prissy counselor's `games'. Ensign Metag: Pandora, initiate a gradual return to normal gravity. Lite falls to the floor. He doesn't fall hard because the return was gradual, but he is not happy. Lite: Hey, make the gravity go away again. Ensign Metag looks straight at Lite and acknowledges his presence for the first time. Metag: Why? Lite: Because it was fun. Metag: (reminiscing) I used to think gravity was fun.
Those were the days. (at Lite) What was fun about it? Lite: I could fly and jump and everything. They never let us... I mean I never tried to do that on my space station. Make it go away again. Metag: Why should I? Lite: I told you to. Metag: Yes, but why should I obey you. Who are you? Lite: (Drawing himself up to his full 4 feet) I am Bloocheez Lite, nephew and heir to Bloocheez! I tell you, peon, to turn the gravity off again so that I may play. Metag (tremendously amused for the first time in ages): Well, mister Bloocheez Lite, what if I'm tired of gravity? What if I don't want to change the gravity again? Lite: You HAVE to do what I say. I've got a starship and I could blow you up if you don't. Metag: (even more amused) Where? Lite: (stomping his foot) Outside, you idiot! They shot at me and then that stupid J lady tried to kidnap me. But I escaped and came here. And I order you to do what I say. Metag: That J Lady? Would that be Counselor Jiapa? Lite: Yeah, that's her name. Man, is she dumb. Metag: (instituting a poker face) Well, she didn't seem that dumb when we were at the Academy together. Perhaps you didn't give her a chance? Lite: She's an idiot, and I want to play with the gravity. What makes the gravity? Metag: That cube is the gravity generator. Didn't you have one on your ship? Lite: Yeah, but they wouldn't let me see, I mean, Yes, but I couldn't be bothered to go inspect it. Metag: Well, this cube makes our gravity. Lite: How does it work? Metag: It would take far too long to explain. Simply, the cube makes the gravity and these coils carry it all over the ship to where it is needed. Lite climbs on top of the cube to see the coils Metag is pointing to. Lite: These coils? Metag: Yes, those. This one carries the gravity to the bridge. These two carry it to sickbay, and that one carries it to this floor. Lite: Oh BOY!!!! I wanna float. He grabs hold of the indicated coil and starts to tug. Luckily it is firmly attached to the cube and Lite can not even move the coil. Metag: (smiling indulgently) I told you Lite, I control the gravity. Lite looks over at Metag hollers: I want to FLOAT! Make it go away. Metag: (wryly) Well, if you ate your mushrooms... Lite: (confusedly) What do veggies have to do with floating? (forcefully) Don't change the subject, peasant! I told you, (an escalating yell) I want to float and I want you to make the gravity GO AWAY!!! Metag puts his hand to his head. Metag: Don't yell so loudly; you're giving me a headache. Let me think a sec. Lite patiently waits all of 500 milliseconds before shouting... Lite: TURN OFF THE GRAVITY!!! Metag winces at Lite's volume which has echoed throughout the small room. He is not used to children, and although he wants to be friendly, he is especially not used to loud imperious children. Metag: (calmer and slower than before, and gradually getting quieter) I can't turn off the gravity, Lite. This gravity controls the whole ship, and it would not be fair to everyone else to turn off this gravity. Lite is jumping up and down on the cube, stomping on the connecting coils. They are well attached, but this is still making Metag nervous. He is also shouting FLOAT at the top of his lungs. He pauses, however, when he hears the 'this gravity' in Metag's statement. Lite: There's other gravity? Where I could turn it off and float? Metag: (tremendously relieved to get a question instead of a yell from Lite starts to answer thoughtfully) Why yes it's possible. Commander yaz-pistashio has lowered gravity in his quarters. (he stops to ponder how Lite could float) And if you really want to float I suppose you could ask Pandora to make up a holodeck for you... Lite doesn't even hear Metag's last sentence, however, for as soon as he heard yaz's name, he jumps off the cube and dashes out of the room. Metag looks up, sees that the kid is gone, shrugs, and returns his attention to Pandora. Metag: Pandora, are there any other life forms in this room besides me? Pandora: Nope. Metag: Then, Pandora, continue testing. Pandora: Do I have to? ********