encounters of the u.5 kind

The converging isobars augured a dark and stormy night. The cumulus
mammatus hung in the heavy atmosphere and high energy discharges
crackled portentously. Then at 2130 UT1 precisely, the northern
frontier’s portal membrane expanded to admit an incoming alien device.
For having just materialized on the containment building floor in a
hazy stench of sulfur and sizzling ozone, the device looked innocuous
enough. Just a fat ring of black pneumo-elastomer twenty-four inches
round and two inches in cross section girdling a radial array of
narrow crossing rods joined at a central machined puck. A central
shaft piercing the puck sported opposing studded antennae outside a
tubular structure capped by what looked suspiciously like a sheathed
anal probe.

The portal attendant found a fragmentary notation in the terrestrial
archive about a late second millennium transportation device of dubious
merit, but when we cross-referenced the schematic, no puck. I dunno…
maybe those nosebleeds in Sector B were hacking into the archives again
and cloaking references. Practical jokes are still a doggedly popular
diversion from the long dark hours of occultation, but the last time
they tried this the kink they induced in the space/time weft actually
sucked 6456 Golombek into a decaying orbit. Man, the Sanctions
Authority had a field day with that one.

When I asked the attendant to wand the puck it scanned fine, so maybe
some brainiac down in engineering really had come up with something
bone fide at the dawn of the third millennium. When I tried rotating
the twin antennae the pneumo-ring spun as well, and as their speed came
up the puck began to purr. Clearly something was happening inside, but
what was this little squirrel cage up to?

I decided to accept the device at face value and gingerly placed the
probe as diagrammed in the archive and climbed aboard. Depressing the
antennae alternately with my boots motivated the device, and just as
described by the fragmentary text, I was able to propel myself about
the building! This rotating ring technology was elementary but
effective. Needing more room to experiment, I took the device out on
the planet’s surface mounting it easily this time. As inertia was
overcome and my velocity increased, the little device developed
impressive momentum out of all proportion to its mass, almost as if the
puck contained it own power source. Then I spotted it. A timing mark
on the pneumo-ring’s inner surface aligned perfectly with one antennae
every other revolution. The antennae and pneumo-ring were rotating at
different speeds! Ah…the Puck.

With the wind streaming through my hairpiece and my seratonin receptors
operating near capacity, a grin spread across my face as the
metaphysical and psycho-spiritual implications began to dawn on me.
This device is not from the past. It has been sent back to us from the
future! A mystical artifact placed here by some higher consciousness
designed to fulfill our age old yearning for bugs in our teeth and
adrenalin rushes.

Wait a minute…what if I push this baby beyond its apparent operating
What if I can accelerate it beyond the point where my boots leave the
antennae and its massive momentum propels me through the spatial and
temporal membranes via synchronicity? I’d have to run the numbers of
course, but if I can maintain a straight line acceleration for
say…fifty light periods… at a 280 azimuth…mmm…carry the two…and
allowing for windage… I may be able to the see the face… of the


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