Author: David K Scholes

“When they transported us down time to the original colony I thought we would at least have the place to ourselves,” Urrle was indignant. “Apart from the dinosaurs of course.”

“We did,” I replied, “we did for a while.”

“Until “they” started coming,” I could see that Urrle was really down.

“The tourists you mean?” I enquired. The damned tourists I thought taking 4D selfies everywhere they went and uploading them to the All Time, All Net.

“No, not them – they are a nuisance I grant you, but eventually they head back up time and we get a break before the next ones. Also, thankfully, we can’t view the All Time All Net here,” replied Urrle. “Nor are the semi-perms that spend half their time sunning around on their dinosaur farms down here that bad. They don’t bother us that much. No, it’s the crims, the other crims.”

“The other penal colonies you mean?” I asked. “We all know they have been sprouting up like mushrooms.”

“What I don’t understand,” persisted Urrle, “is that they have 180 million years to play with, in the Mesozoic era alone, why plonk everything here in this little patch?”

I had to admit that our little part of the Mesozoic era had become very crowded. More crowded than areas up time since the “Thinning” and the “Galactic Commitment”. No one had told us why. Not our cyborg guards, not the transportation guards as they brought down supplies and new inmates, not the tourists, not the crims or even borg guards from other penal colonies that we occasionally came in contact with.

“Eisenstein says that they only have a narrow time segment they can send things down too,” replied Terathh who was listening in to our conversation. “I couldn’t understand the math but I guess that’s why things are so crowded here.”

“It’s okay,” I said “or at least it was okay. I mean I was okay with all of that. I could have lived with it all. The circus that we have become down here, but now ___. “
“What is it Garth?” asked Urrle surprised by my uncharacteristic show of emotion

“You know I had to go over with one of the borgs when that new colony was set up over the range. Just to help out. I think it was the first of its kind.”

“Aliens?” I could see Urrle was guessing “Alien Crims or even Alien Prisoners of War?”
“Alien Crims have been here for a while,” I couldn’t understand how Urrle didn’t know this, “and also Alien prisoners of war, not just our prisoners but prisoners the senior members of the Galactic Alliance compelled us to take” It seemed like the Galactic Commitment had no limitations. “Including, among them some Drorne prisoners.”

Urrle’s face went white.

“Even that I could take,” I said “even Drorne prisoners of war down here in this pocket of time with us. Our sworn enemy who heaped so much humiliation on us when we were fighting men.”

“What then,” asked Urrle “what is it Garthh?”

“The new camp, everyone was old, all humans over 95…” I stopped, unable to speak.

“The tourists or the semi-perms would see them down here and would raise all hell up time!” exclaimed Urrle.

I shook my head. “They might get to see pretty much everything else but not this latest colony.”

“And how many more are to come before the Galactic Commitment ends?”

“I feel like the guy in that ancient movie when he discovered we the human race were eating people” said Urrle.”

“Only worse’