The warning lights are still flashing on the empty flight deck outside the Tardis. The Time Rotor screeches and wails while the Doctor battles with its controls.
‘Look, Miss Jemma!’ Cee-Threepio points at the viewing screen. ‘I think your star-ship is trying to communicate with us.’
I peer at the screen. Line upon line of text is spewing across my work station monitor. It’s too small to read from here, but it must be important. Otherwise, why would it be there?
It’s my ship, and from the way the Tardis is bucking and rolling despite the Doctor’s efforts, we’re all in trouble. I head for the doors. My place is on my own flight-deck and if Harris and Steven’s are still on theirs… I squash that thought down.
‘Jemma, wait!’ I hear the Doctor call out behind me, but I’ve made my decision. I fling myself through the doors of the Tardis; they snap closed behind me and I stumble over to my seat. The sound of the warning sirens is almost deafening, far louder than I’ve heard them before, but my job is to focus.
I strap myself in and concentrate on my monitor. A series of complex equations scroll before my eyes. Something’s wrong. The equations are incomplete. Basic stuff is missing! I grab the old-style keyboard and my fingers start to fly over the keys. I might not be a gamer like Harris, but I know my basic quantum theory. I hunch over the keys, scrolling down the lines, fixing errors and omissions, and tidying up messy calculations.
It’s like one of the speed tests we used to have back in Cadet College! I finish and flop back in my seat, then look around. Everything has gone quiet.
No red lights, no sirens. I swivel around. No Tardis!
Then I hear low-pitched voices and laughter. Harris and Stevens appear from the back of the flight deck.
‘You should’ve come with us, Jem,’ says Harris.
‘The Rec Room here is awesome,’ adds Stevens. ‘It’s got a top of the range Holodeck. We had a tour of the Millennium Falcon with Han and Chewy…’
‘…and I got to fly a mission attacking the Death Star,’ adds Harris excitedly.
I’m confused. Hold on. ‘Rec Room?‘
‘Yeah, Jem’, says Stevens slowly, as if talking to a particularly dim droid. ‘Starbase 74, you know, it’s recently been upgraded.’ He gives a sideways glance to Harris. ‘Maybe she’s a little low on sugar.’ He tosses a crumpled chocolate bar over to me. It looks like a ‘Snickers’ but it says ‘Banquet Bar’ on the label.
Did I miss something?
Harris crosses to his seat, glancing at the calculations on my screen. ‘You plotted the co-ordinates then. That’s great!’ He rubs his hands together. ‘Our first solo mission.’
I stare at the screen. All my quantum calculations have morphed into a simple star-schematic. The location is certainly familiar. It’s where landed up when we first ‘borrowed’ the Professor’s Special Space Machine. But how did we end up here..?
Harris and Stevens have both strapped themselves in. They look at me expectantly.
‘Take her out, Captain Jemma!’ says Stevens, grinning broadly.
As I reach across to take the controls, the comms device tumbles from my tunic pocket. The screen flashes on and the face of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who appears. He puts a finger to his lips, and a speech balloon appears over his head. ‘My reality is different from yours,’ it reads. The Doctor winks, then his image is replaced by a cartoon white rabbit disappearing repeatedly down a black hole.
Something is definitely not right.
And so, as Jemma and her crew head out into space again, so concludes series two of Space Cadets, leaving you, in fine tradition once again, with more questions than answers. But judging by the way this has ended, it looks like there’s going to have to be another series.
Image credits: darstcenter.com, space.com